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COP 7 Decision VII/13

Alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (Article 8 (h))

The Conference of the Parties

1. Notes the importance of mainstreaming activities relating to invasive alien species management, particularly with reference to poverty and inequity, to provide optimal value to such activities;

2. Welcomes the collaboration between the Convention on Biological Diversity and other conventions and organizations, in particular the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat and the International Plant Protection Convention, in developing mechanisms to address the threats posed by invasive alien species;

3. Notes the adoption of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments under the International Maritime Organization, and recommends that Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other Governments consider ratifying this Convention;

4. Recognizes the need to strengthen further institutional coordination among international organizations and requests the Executive Secretary to:

    (a)  Promote fuller consideration of issues relating to invasive alien species in other international forums, including through the joint liaison group of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests;

    (b)  Further collaborate with relevant organizations and initiatives including, inter alia the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the International Maritime Organization;

    (c)  Further collaborate with relevant conventions including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

    (d)  Support closer coordination between national focal points of relevant international instruments, regional institutions and international conventions and programmes;

    (e)  Develop a joint work plan with the secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention;

    (f)  Establish closer linkages with the Office international des épizooties;

    (g)  Explore options for closer collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the development of a preventive strategy for invasive alien species through civil-aviation pathways;

    (h)  Cooperate with relevant site-based conventions and other organizations to develop biome-specific practical guidance for site managers;

5.  Noting the existing international, regional and national frameworks but recognizing the need to strengthen institutional coordination at international, regional and national levels on invasive alien species as a trade-related issue:

(a)  Invites the World Trade Organization and its relevant bodies to give consideration to the risks from invasive alien species, in their deliberations;

(b)  Requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate, whenever feasible and appropriate, with the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization in its training, capacity-building and information activities, with a view to raising awareness of the issues related to invasive alien species, and promoting enhanced cooperation on this issue;

(c)  Requests the Executive Secretary to renew his application for observer status in the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) of the World Trade Organization with a view to enhancing the exchange of information on deliberations and recent development in the respective bodies of relevance to alien invasive species;

(d)  Invites Parties and other Governments to take into consideration, as appropriate, the risks associated with the introduction, use and spread of invasive alien species during the development, expansion and environmental review of international, bilateral and regional arrangements such as trade arrangements, where appropriate; and

(e)  Invites Parties and other Governments to improve communication and cooperation between national environment, plant protection, trade and other relevant authorities with a view to increasing awareness on issues related to the prevention and management of risks from potentially invasive alien species and ensuring consistency of national policies and programmes;

6. Invites relevant Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other Governments, as well as national, regional and international organizations to:  [53]/

(a)  Improve the coordination of regional measures to address transboundary issues through the development and implementation of regional standards, regional support for risk analysis and regional cooperation mechanisms;

(b)  Support national and regional decision-making and rapid response through the further development of risk analysis which include environmental risk assessment, as well as alert lists, diagnostic tools and capacity development;

(c)  Incorporate invasive alien species considerations, including monitoring and reporting and notification of new threats, into regional agreements and other instruments, and make information on invasive alien species status and trends available through the clearing-house mechanism and other relevant regional information systems;

(d)  Allocate, as appropriate, adequate financial resources to developing countries, in particular the least develop countries and small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition, and to build capacity for effective mitigation, border control and quarantine measures with a view to improve synergies with policies relating to trade, food security, human health and environmental protection, scientific research and exchange of information;

(e)  Strengthen, as appropriate the cooperation between biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, land and water management agencies in the application of risk analysis standards and guidance;

(f)  Consider the introduction of positive incentive measures for the prevention, mitigation, eradication or control of invasive alien species and the use of native species taking into consideration effectiveness in control and impact on the other native species in land and water management and other programmes;

(g)  Proactively engage relevant stakeholders and indigenous and local communities in the eradication, the prevention of introductions, and mitigation of impacts of invasive alien species, including by awareness-raising and training as well as through the design and implementation of appropriate incentive measures;

Notes that specific gaps in the international regulatory frameworks at global, regional and national levels persist, notably in relation to species that are invasive, but do not qualify as plant pests under the regulations of the IPPC and other international agreements or animal diseases under the regulations of the Office international des épizooties and other international agreements with regard to the following potential pathways:

(a)  The use of non-native organisms in aquaculture and the restocking of marine and inland water systems for commercial and recreational fisheries taking into account contributions of national codes, and voluntary international efforts such as Codes of Practice on the Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms developed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas and the FAO Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries;

(b)  Unintentional or opportunistic introductions (e.g., "hitchhiker organisms"), including through hull-fouling, packaging material, import consignments, vehicular transport and other means;

(c)  Unintentional introductions of invasive alien species through international assistance and humanitarian programmes, tourism, military, scientific research, cultural and other activities;

(d)  Intentional introductions of alien species for non-food purposes, including certain aspects of horticulture and trade in pets and aquarium species;

(e)  Intentional introduction of alien species, as biocontrol agents for control or eradication of invasive alien species, pests or weeds;

(f)  Transnational and national ex situ breeding projects with alien species as sources for intentional or unintentional introduction;

(g)  Intentional introduction of invasive alien species through international assistance programmes, including conservation and development projects and other activities;

(h)  Intentional introduction of potentially invasive alien species through international incentives schemes;

(i) Introduction of alien species through aquaculture escapes, bait and pet releases, water transfer schemes.

8. Notes that there is potential for the application of existing methodologies for risk assessment and risk analysis, including those established in the contexts of plant and animal health, to a wider range of issues related to invasive alien species;

9. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to establish an ad hoc technical expert group to address gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory frameworks at global, and regional levels, in particular the specific gaps identified in paragraph 7 above, and, on the basis of the work of the expert group, to make recommendations to Subsidiary Body of the Scientific Technical and Technological Advice prior to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties for the full and effective implementation of Article 8(h) of the Convention, and further be considered by the Conference of the Parties.  The expert group should:

(a)  Further clarify the gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework that are significantly hindering countries' efforts to manage threats arising from the introduction, establishment and spread from invasive alien species, focusing this analysis on the known major pathways for the spread of invasive alien species, and taking into account past efforts of relevant organizations and initiatives that have considered the issue;

(b)  Develop practical options on how to address these gaps and inconsistencies, where possible within the context of existing international frameworks including identifying, if appropriate, those gaps which should be addressed at the national level, in order to achieve the full and effective implementation of Article 8(h), taking into account the costs/benefits of options for addressing the gaps and inconsistencies and the need for appropriate capacity-building at the national and regional level, to support this work;

(c)  Also, in the event that it identifies the potential need for standards or other measures, identify the appropriate standard-making authority, if any, or other appropriate options, so that the Conference of the Parties can consider referring the issue to the appropriate standard-making authority and/or any other course of action that it considers appropriate;

10.  Welcomes the generous offer made by the Government of New Zealand to fund andthe ad hoc technical expert group referred to in paragraph 9 above;

11.  Requests the Executive Secretary together with the Global Invasive Species Programme, and its participating organizations, and with other relevant organizations to address the priorities for practical actions identified in the decisions of the Conference of the Parties;

12.  Requests the Executive Secretary to facilitate the development of practical processes to allow Parties to share best practice and lessons learned, and to cooperate in the development of new technology, scientific understanding and best practice; and

13.  Invites funding institutions and development agencies to provide financial support to developing countries, in particular the least develop countries and small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition, to assist in the improved prevention, rapid response and management measures to address threats of alien invasive species.

[53]/ Implementation of this paragraph should not promote incentives that negatively affect the biodiversity of other countries.