First of all, thank you all very much for making possible such an interesting forum.
Since 2007, Spain has its own national legislation for fighting against the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) focusing on prevention, management, control, and possible eradication of IAS. (Law 42/2007, of December 13, on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity).
The national catalogue of IAS came into force in 2013. It counts about 200 taxa that are forbidden for possession, transport, traffic and trade of living specimens, of their remains or propagules that could survive or reproduce, including foreign trade. (Royal Decree 630/2013, of August 2, which regulates the Spanish catalog of invasive alien species; https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/temas/conservacion-de-especies/especies-exoticas-invasoras/ce-eei-catalogo.aspx
In Spain, the competencies in IAS management fall on the Autonomous Regions, which should take measures for management, control, and possible eradication. The Ministry for the Ecological Transition is the organism in charge of the development of the legal framework.
In addition to promoting the inclusion of invasive species on the national catalogue, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition is competent in promoting the coordinated fight against IAS at different levels:
• Coordination of the development and application of National Strategies for management, control, and possible eradication of IAS. (https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/temas/conservacion-de-especies/especies-exoticas-invasoras/ce-eei-estrategia-planes.aspx
• Coordination of the National Working Group on Invasive Alien Species, under the Committee of Wild Flora and Fauna.
• Monitoring and promoting adequate methods for rapid eradication in case of early detection of species included in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern.
• Coordination of an Alert Network or Early Warning System to transmit the information immediately among the Administrations competent in the management of invasive alien species, in compliance with the national legislation.
Currently, this ministry works on the line marked by the Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 “Invasive alien species prevented and controlled”. Recently, the information corresponding to the first six-year report requested by the European Commission according to the IAS Regulation (Regulation (EU) Nº 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species) has been delivered. (https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/temas/conservacion-de-especies/especies-exoticas-invasoras/ce-eei-lista-UE.aspx
This report compiles, among other things, the distribution of IAS included in the list of invasive alien species considered to be of Union concern but also the distribution of IAS included in the National Catalogue. Related to the IAS species of the Union list, information about pathways of introduction (unintentional) and applied management actions is included. We want to underline the importance of having updated cartography of the identified IAS. This is a fundamental basis for carrying out many of the prevention and management measures.
Focusing on prevention, this ministry has developed a draft regulation to regulate the administrative procedure for the previous authorization of importation into the national territory of alien species in order to preserve the Spanish native biodiversity. This regulation does not address invasive species, according to the legal definition, but alien species. It would be necessary to implement a similar measure in other countries and the coordination among them to be effective. Its application at European, or better globally, would be the best scene. This international cooperation must extend to alert networks or early warning systems.
There is also fragmentation in the legislation about IAS, which doesn’t help to manage the problem, as for example in the case of alien pathogens and pathogens spread by IAS covered by the EU Regulation No. 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species, the EU Animal Health policy, and the EU Plant Health Law. These regulations are interrelated and interdependent. A better harmonization of the policy and legislation concerning IAS must ensure to bridge the existing gaps.
As a conclusion, we could propose the following draft target or subtarget for the post-2020 framework:
“By 2025, the action plans on the pathways of IAS must be implemented.
By 2030 a global network on Invasive Alien species is completely implemented in which each Party share information, distribution and cartography on IAS and updates it regularly. As a part of this global network, an early warning system on IAS is developed, to share new detections of IAS in a period no longer than 48 hours. International cooperation in the control of the importation of IAS must be improved”