Financial Mechanism and Resources

T6 (Invasive Alien Species): How to Use GEF Funding

1. This page aims to provide information regarding the elimination, minimization, reduction and/or mitigation of the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services for recipient Parties and relevant stakeholders, including how to access funding of the Global Environment Facility in this regard. It is a work in progress and will be updated as necessary.

2. Good progress has been made during the past decade on identifying and prioritizing invasive alien species in terms of the risk they present, as well as in the feasibility of managing them. Successful programmes to eradicate invasive alien species, especially invasive mammals on islands, have benefited native species. However, these successes represent only a small proportion of all occurrences of invasive species. There is no evidence of a slowing down in the number of new introductions of alien species. Reported actions included: Creation and implementation of legislation or regulations for monitoring, controlling, and eradicating invasive alien species, including rules and regulations related to import and export requirements; Measures to control and manage ballast water; Establishment of national guidelines for management and control of invasive alien species; Establishment of phytosanitary and zoosanitary checkpoints at national points of entry; Development and implementation of strategies related to biosecurity (including border control, inspection, quarantine, early warning systems and rapid response systems); Awareness raising (including the development of information portals and websites, training programmes and community events); Strategies of interregional collaboration.

Guidance from the Conference of the Parties

3. The Conference of the Parties invited the Global Environment Facility to finance projects that assist with the development and implementation, at national and regional levels, of the invasive alien species strategies and action plans, in particular those strategies and actions related to geographically and evolutionarily isolated ecosystems, capacity-building to prevent or minimize the risks of the dispersal and establishment of invasive alien species, improved prevention, rapid response and management measures to address threats of alien invasive species. (Decision X/24, annex, para. 4.5; XI/5, para. 19; XIII/21, annex II, para. 16(d))

4. Planning

  • Develop and implement alien invasive species strategies and action plans to take account of effects of alien species on populations and naturally occurring genetic diversity, prioritize actions at all levels, including national, subnational and local levels, to address invasive alien species in particularly vulnerable ecosystems, and place more focus on preventing the spread of invasive alien species and to eradicate those already present; (V/8, para. 6; VI/23, para. 12(c); VI/23, para. 10(a); VI/23, para. 10(c), 5; XII/17, para. 6(j); 14/1, para. 14(g); VIII/27, para. 60
  • Incorporate invasive alien species considerations into national biodiversity strategies and action plans and into sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, strategies and plans, taking into account the ecosystem approach, and ensure that relevant laws and provisions, such as those related to conservation, do not inadvertently constrain the use of appropriate measures to address invasive alien species; (VI/23, para. 12(d); IV/1C, para. 4; X/24, annex, para. 4.5; XI/5, para. 19; XIII/21, annex II, para. 16(d); VIII/27, para. 64; XIII/13, para. 18

5. Conservation and Restoration

  • Continue efforts on the management of invasive alien species, with special emphasis and giving priority and importance to protected areas and key biodiversity areas, including World Heritage sites; (XII/17, para. 6(k); VIII/27, para. 63
  • Minimize risks associated with the introduction of alien species through activities related to ecosystem restoration and development aid; (XII/17, para. 6(f))

6. Prevention

  • Collaborate on the development and use of early warning systems, including networks of focal points, and on the development and use of rapid response mechanisms; (IX/4B, para. 7; XII/17, para. 6(i)
  • Develop risk assessment/analysis to address threats of invasive alien species to biological diversity, and incorporate such methodologies in environmental impact assessments, and strategic environmental assessments, as appropriate and relevant, using existing guidance on risk analysis relevant to invasive alien species to enhance prevention, including guidance developed by the International Plant Protection Convention, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; (IX/4A, para. 1; VI/23, para. 12(a), 24; VII/13, para. 6(b); XI/28, para. 11, 23 and 4(iii); XII/17, para. 6(b)
  • Develop and share a list of regulated invasive alien species, based on the results of risk analysis, where appropriate, and share information on domestic occurrences of alien species that may be invasive elsewhere, through appropriate information-sharing mechanisms; (14/11, para. 9 and 11; VIII/27, para. 12 and 61; X/38, para. 7; XI/28, para. 20; XII/17, para. 6(h); XIII/13, para. 25

7. Control

  • Identify and prioritize pathways of introduction of invasive alien species, taking into account, inter alia, information on the taxa, the frequency of introduction, and the magnitude of impacts, as well as climate change scenarios, and build capacity for action at the national level for addressing the various pathways for introduction and spread of invasive alien species; (IX/4B, para. 18; XII/17, para. 6(d)-6(e); VIII/27, para. 4
  • Enhance cooperation with the authorities responsible for customs, border controls, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures and other relevant competent bodies at the national and regional levels, , including the private sector that might provide pathways or vectors for the unintended transfer of invasive alien species, to prevent unintentional introductions of invasive alien species associated with trade in live organisms, using the supplementary voluntary guidance for avoiding unintentional introductions of invasive alien species associated with trade in live organisms; (VI/23, para. 10(d); 14/11, para. 3 and 10
  • Promote greater awareness among consumers, e-commerce traders and managers and other stakeholders about the risk of biological invasions and associated sanitary and phytosanitary risks, and the relevant international standards and national regulations through, inter alia, e‑commerce market places and related social media, develop suitable measures and guidance to minimize the risks of introduction of invasive alien species associated with trade in wildlife via e‑commerce and facilitate reporting on the trade in regulated live species via e-commerce; (XIII/13, para. 7-8; XII/17, para. 6(g)
  • Review, as necessary, their national regulatory framework in order to develop and implement measures to ensure the safe import and prevention of spread of wildlife species and associated materials (such as packaging material and food) that can be pathways of introduction for invasive species, making use of appropriate risk analysis processes, as well as tools such as horizon scanning, which could consider drivers of trade, future trade patterns and potentially invasive alien species that may enter through trade; (XIII/13, para. 2
  • Explore, develop and apply ways and means to promote changes in the behavior of individuals, in particular, consumers and businesses engaged in the wildlife trade, so as to reduce the risks to biodiversity associated with legal trade, and prevent instances of illegal trade, in wildlife, including through engagement with the social sciences and the use of social media in targeted awareness campaigns, and through cooperation with wildlife trade organizations; (XIII/13, para. 4
  • Take measures, as appropriate and consistent with their national and international obligations, to control import or export of pets, aquarium species, live bait, live food or plant seeds, that pose risks as invasive alien species, and prevent and minimize introductions of known invasive species into the wild, including through measures addressing disposal and discard of such species, and promote the use of the Guidance on Devising And Implementing Measures to Address the Risks Associated with the Introduction of Alien Species as Pets, Aquarium and Terrarium Species, and as Live Bait and Live Food for the development of regulations, codes of conduct and/or other guidance, as appropriate, by States, industry and relevant organizations at all levels, and to facilitate the harmonization of measures; (VIII/27, para. 53-54; XII/16, para. 2
  • Take measures to address the issue of tourism as a pathway for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, taking into account the Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development adopted in VII/14, with particular emphasis on tourism in sites of high conservation value; (VIII/27, para. 50
  • Apply the precautionary approach with regards to the introduction, establishment and spread of invasive alien species, for agricultural and biomass production, including biofuel feedstocks, and for carbon sequestration; (X/38, para. 6
  • Promote aquaculture of native species with the aim to avoid accidental introduction of alien species and their parasites, and implement national and regional programmes for the control of aquatic invasive species; (VIII/27, para. 23-24
  • Implement the Code of Practice on the Introduction and Transfers of Marine Organisms of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and Article 196 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; (VIII/27, para. 21
  • Promote collaboration at the national level among relevant agencies responsible for matters of invasive alien species and/or civil air transport (e.g., civil aviation, transport, customs, trade, plant protection, environment); (VIII/27, para. 37)
  • Communicate and raise awareness about the risk of invasive alien species spread via sea containers, cargo transported within the sea containers, as well as on bio-fouling and ballast water, particularly with stakeholders involved in the packing or movement of sea containers, using the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units, as appropriate, and implement controls at national level, for example through appropriate measures (e.g., regulations and standards), on marine biofouling as a pathway for introduction and spread of invasive alien species, including for recreational vessels; (XIII/13, para. 11; VIII/27, para. 29)
  • Address the issue of domestic translocation of ballast water, by vessels requiring equivalent compliance with but not covered by the International Convention on the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments; (VIII/27, para. 26)
  • Take measures as appropriate and consistent with national and international obligations, based for example on risk assessment, to control movements of animals used for ex situ breeding, including controlling the movements of fish between water bodies and drainage basins as well as containing the movements of animals within safari parks and zoos; (VIII/27, para. 57)
  • Consider, through collaboration with biosecurity, biodiversity and aid organizations, national controls or codes of practice to address invasive alien species in development assistance efforts; (VIII/27, para. 44)
  • Promote good practice in relation to invasive alien species in any military-aid or joint exercises, and develop procedures and build capacity among military forces to avoid the introduction of potentially invasive species into new areas, taking into account relevant international guidance, and detect and rectify any problems of invasive alien species created during military operations; (VIII/27, para. 39)
  • Raise awareness among scientific research organizations of existing measures to control the spread of invasive alien species, and to put in place measures to prevent or minimize the risks of introduction and spread of invasive alien species associated with scientific research activities; (VIII/27, para. 45)
  • Develop and apply biological control programmes against invasive alien species, including prioritization based on impacts, feasibility and likelihood of success of biological control, selection of the biological control agents, using native species and contingency plans, and evaluate and take appropriate measures (e.g., develop guidance or codes of practice regarding the trade and use of biocontrol agents) at national, regional and global levels to address the potential risks of biocontrol agents as invasive alien species; (XIII/13, para. 12-15; VIII/27, para. 55)
  • Strengthen the capacity of border control authorities and other competent authorities to identify invasive alien species or potentially invasive alien species, to assess risks and take steps to manage or minimize those risks and to control and eradicate prioritized invasive alien species, and proactively prevent the introduction and spread of invasive alien species within their territories, for example by offering to help neighboring States to deal with particular alien species that may cross borders; (XI/28, para. 19; VIII/27, para. 62)

8. Coordination and participation

  • Ensure effective cooperation and coordination between relevant agencies and authorities at the national and regional level, including those responsible for veterinary, phytosanitary, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environment and biodiversity issues, and interest-holders relevant to the introduction, control and management of invasive alien species, for example through the establishment of national coordination committees in order to ensure a coordinated and coherent science-based approach to addressing threats from invasive alien species; (XII/17, para. 6(m); XI/28, para. 4(i); IX/4B, para. 26; VIII/27, para. 8; VII/13, para. 5(e), 6(e); VI/23, para. 10(b); 14/11, para. 3(c))
  • 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; (XIII/13, para. 19; IX/4B, para. 8; VII/13, para. 6(g); VI/23, para. 10(f))
  • Cooperate with the business sector in order to address the issue of invasive alien species, particularly in the areas of financial support and technical cooperation, and communication, education and public awareness on invasive alien species, and support the development and implementation of voluntary schemes, certification systems and codes of conduct for relevant industries and stakeholder groups including specific guidelines to prevent the introduction of, and manage potentially invasive commercially important species (including plants, pets, invertebrates, fish, and aquarium / terrarium species); (14/11, para. 8; IX/4B, para. 23; XIII/13, para. 24)
  • Collaborate with trading partners and neighboring countries, regionally, and with other countries, as appropriate, in order to address threats of invasive alien species, 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, and incorporate invasive alien species considerations, including monitoring and reporting and notification of new threats, into regional agreements and other instruments, giving priority attention to geographically and evolutionarily isolated ecosystems, and use the ecosystem approach and precautionary and biogeographical approaches; (VI/23, para. 10(g); XII/17, para. 6(l); VIII/27, para. 59; VII/13, para. 6(a) and 6(c); V/8, para. 7; V/8, para. 8)
  • Increase communication, education and public awareness about the risks associated with the introduction of invasive and potentially invasive alien species, including through facilitating public participation in scientific research, monitoring and early warning systems, and targeted messaging towards quarantine, customs and other border officials as well as decision makers and practitioners in the freshwater, marine and terrestrial environment sectors, in particular in agriculture, aquaculture and forestry, and in the horticulture trade and pet trade, and more generally, in the transportation, trading, travel and tourism sectors that are potential pathways of biological invasions; (XII/17, para. 6(a); IX/4B, para. 25, 27; VIII/27, para. 13, 17; VI/23, para. 10(e); V/8, para. 9)

9. Financing

Develop financial measures, and other policies and tools, to promote activities to reduce the threat of invasive alien species, and introduce 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; (VI/23, para. 12(b); VII/13, para. 6(f))

10. Climate

Take into account and build capacity to address how climate change affects the risks associated with the introduction, establishment, spread and impacts of invasive alien species; (IX/4B, para. 11)

Financial support of the Global Environment Facility

BDFA: Objective One

Potential implementation/project partners

Related references