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SBSTTA 15 Recommendations

SBSTTA 15 Recommendation XV/4

XV/4.Invasive alien species

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

I.RECOMMENDATION TO THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice recommends that the Conference of the Parties adopts a decision along the following lines:
The Conference of the Parties

Ways and means to address gaps in international standards regarding invasive alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, as live bait and live food

1. Takes note of the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) meeting on addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/15/INF/1);
2. Expresses its gratitude to the Co-Chairs and members of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) for their work and to the Governments of Spain and Japan for their financial support;
3. Recognizing the multi-sectoral nature of issues associated with invasive alien species, reiterates that the Guiding Principles adopted in decision VI/23 * continue to provide relevant guidance for addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food;
4. Encourages Parties and other Governments to ensure, at the national level, effective collaboration among national authorities and focal points that deal with the Convention on Biological Diversity and International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO-SPS Agreement), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to address threats from invasive alien species, and, as appropriate, when addressing the risks associated with the introduction of alien animal species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food to make full use of existing standards;
5. Requests the Executive Secretary, with further inputs from Parties as well as members of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) and other experts as required, in collaboration with the members of the inter-agency liaison group, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, and drawing upon the collaborative work of national authorities and industry groups, to prepare proposals for more detailed guidance for Parties on the drafting and implementation of national measures associated with the introduction of alien animal species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, in order to complete the tasks set out in the annex to decision X/38, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice before the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
6. Recognizing trade and the changes of present-day trade patterns as one of the increasing pathways of invasive alien species and especially the rapid growth of international market places over the Internet, including for the sale and purchase of live animal species, requests the Executive Secretary:
(a) To compile and disseminate methodologies and instruments in use by law enforcement, customs and inspection agencies to monitor and control related trade and cross-border movements of alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food; and
(b) To collect information on best practices to raise public awareness and disseminate guidance to Internet traders;
7. Recognizing the potential risks of introduction and spread of invasive alien animal species from commercial zoos and safari parks, and breeding and trade centres, resulting from escapes of the animals, and the release and escape of animals used as live food, requests the Executive Secretary to compile information and work with experts to avoid and/or minimize the risks particular to these separate pathways;
8. Concerned about the potential risks associated with intentional and unintentional release and escapes of individuals of captive bred alien populations and genotypes of pets, aquarium and terrarium species, species used as live bait and live food, impacting on native genetic diversity, and noting the need to document and develop guidance on how to deal with these risks, requests the Executive Secretary to collect case-studies and explore measures in collaboration with relevant international organizations on how to deal with such risks;

Ways and means to address gaps in international standards regarding invasive alien species

Recalling paragraphs 2-6 of its decision decision IX/4 A,
9. Encourages members of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization, and members of its recognized standard-setting organizations to further address, including by developing and improving international standards, the risks posed by introductions of invasive alien species that are a threat to biodiversity but not considered pests of plants, pathogens or parasites that affect domestic animals, or harmful to human health, and taking note that the risks associated with the introduction of alien species may include impacts on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity at the ecosystem, species and gene levels. The Convention on Biological Diversity could offer to collaborate with the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures on this matter;
10. Encourages the International Plant Protection Convention to:
(a) Invite its members to broaden their sanitary and phytosanitary measures for the protection of plants in marine environments in particular, as well as terrestrial and freshwater environments;
(b) Broaden the application of the International Plant Protection Convention to include the health of bryophytes and algae species; and
(c) Clarify whether its mandate also applies to the health and protection of fungi, with a view to identifying and, if necessary, addressing possible gaps;
11. Recognizes the important contributions of the World Organisation for Animal Health and encourages the Organization to pursue its efforts in considering the impacts of invasive alien species on ecosystems and animal health, and to update the OIE Aquatic Code and the OIE Terrestrial Code, and provide advice and guidance on the assessment of the risk of invasion of alien species on ecosystems;
12. Further requests the Executive Secretary to continue to pursue the tasks set out in paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 of decision IX/4 A and paragraph 13 of decision X/38, especially regarding progress in the relationship with standard-setting bodies of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other relevant organizations;
13. Recognizing the relevance, importance and applicability of existing international standards, guidelines and recommendations to address the risks associated with the introduction of alien species, and to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and spread in order to achieve target 9 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, requests the Executive Secretary in line with paragraph 3 (c) of decision X/38, in collaboration with the relevant international organizations that set international standards, guidelines and recommendations to develop a practical non-prescriptive toolkit for Parties regarding the application of existing international standards, guidelines and recommendations, and disseminate, inter alia, through the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention, no later than the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The toolkit should include:
(a) Practical non-prescriptive advice on how the components of the international regulatory framework can be used by Parties in addressing the threats from invasive alien species;
(b) Tools and information on relevant risk-analysis;
(c) Information on how Parties have developed, integrated, and strengthened national invasive alien species strategies into their national policies;
(d) Lessons learned from countries' use of lists and management of alien species for all stakeholders, including border control officials, traders and consumers, regulating whether or not a particular species may be imported, kept, bred, applied for trade; as well as information on the relative strengths and limitations of listing systems;
(e) Examples of voluntary measures that address specific circumstances;
(f) Information on capacity development for the identification of potentially invasive alien species and assessment of relevant pathways;
(g) Information on how national authorities and industry can develop close collaboration to ensure compliance with national regulations on the import of alien species; and
(h) Information on how regional cooperation could harmonize policy on the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food;
[14. Requests the Executive Secretary to renew the application of the Convention on Biological Diversity for observer status in the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization with a view to enhancing the exchange of information on deliberations and recent developments in bodies relevant to invasive alien species, in light of the increasing importance of the ecosystem level when establishing adequate standards;]

Other matters

15. Requests the Executive Secretary to explore methodologies for fostering awareness, promoting education and generating information on invasive alien species for a broad audience including Indigenous and local communities, the public and other stakeholders;
16. Encourages Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations, including local taxonomic institutions to develop capacity, inter alia, in line with the Capacity-Building Strategy for the Global Taxonomy Initiative, for Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to meet target 9 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Emphasis should be placed on developing tools to strengthen the capacity of border control and other competent authorities to identify invasive alien species or potentially invasive alien species, to assess risks and take steps to manage or minimize the risks;
17. Recalling paragraph 7 of decision X/38, welcomes the work of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) to improve the interoperability of online databases and networks and facilitate the use of information necessary to conduct risk and/or impact assessments and encourages Parties, Governments and relevant institutions and organizations to participate in developing interoperable information systems that can be used in developing early-detection and rapid-response systems;
18. Recognizing the vital importance of access to accurate information on invasive alien species in developing indicators to monitor the progress of achieving target 9 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the need to maximize synergies among existing information services, welcomes the proposed the joint work programme to strengthen information services on invasive alien species as a contribution towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/15/INF/14), and requests the Executive Secretary to facilitate its implementation, and invites Parties, information services and other organizations to contribute to this work;

Considerations for future work

19. Recognizing invasive alien species as one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss, their increasing impact on biodiversity and on economic sectors, negatively affecting human well-being, emphasizes the need to continue to work on this issue, in order to achieve target 9 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020;
20. Requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with relevant partners, to:
(a) Assess progress in implementing decisions of the Conference of the Parties on invasive alien species, including decisions that address gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework identified in decision VIII/27;
(b) Prepare a preliminary list of the most common pathways for invasive alien species, propose criteria or other ways by which they may be prioritized, and identify a range of tools that may be used to manage or minimize the risks associated with the pathways; and to report thereon to a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice before the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in order to inform consideration of the need for future work.

II.REQUEST TO THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice
1. Requests the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with the members of the inter-agency liaison group on invasive alien species, to prepare an information document on how the standards, guidance and relevant activities of the organizations referred to in paragraph 4 above could support Parties in addressing the threats from invasive alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, as live bait and live food, and to make it available before the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
2. Further requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a report to be submitted to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties on the status of the application of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity for observer status to the World Trade Organization.

* One representative entered a formal objection during the process leading to the adoption of this decision and underlined that he did not believe that the Conference of the Parties could legitimately adopt a motion or a text with a formal objection in place. A few representatives expressed reservations regarding the procedure leading to the adoption of this decision (see UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20, paras. 294-324).

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme