Identifying integrated solutions to island biodiversity threats (case: invasive alien species)
The POWIB has been helpful in considering how islands can address threats related to invasive alien species in a more integrated and collaborative manner. As referenced in the first discussion, the Helping Islands Adapt workshop help in Auckland back in 2010, which brought experts together from 4 major island regions as well as international organizations. The meeting allowed for sharing of information and discussion on major priorities for increasing the ability of islands to address the risks associated with invasive alien species. One of the clear messages was using the concept of biosecurity as a catchall to embrace the need to protect island biodiversity, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, public health and livelihoods in a more holistic manner. In many cases the small size of islands makes these aspects interdependent and negative impacts in one area will have significant repercussions.
Further work is necessary to further develop and realize this concept at the national and regional levels, and the POWIB could serve as one vehicle to move this forward. The POWIB’s cross-sectoral focus could use invasive alien species as one lens to show how different sectors and aspects of biodiversity conservation and sustainable can be addressed (e.g., attention to trade, imports/exports, quarantine and border protection; food security; local livelihoods; conservation; adaptation and/or resilience to climate change). Positive examples exist (or are evolving) on a number of these aspects at a number of geographic scales, such as New Zealand’s biosecurity system which is world renowned, Mexico’s efforts to protect its islands from the impacts of invasive alien species, the state of Hawaii’s increasing attention to the relation between invasive alien species and its green growth efforts, and the Micronesia Biosecurity Plan – a regional effort to improve capacity to address the risks of invasive alien species to three island countries and two U.S. territories.
Other examples and lessons learned surely exist (and many have already been raised through the Helping Islands Adapt workshop). Specifically it would be useful to identify: biosecurity models and tools appropriate to different scales; the institutional and human capacity necessary to implement those frameworks, and the incentive mechanisms and resource (including those that already exist) to underpin this capacity and ensure sustainability. The POWIB process could be used to collate this input, help promote/support existing initiatives and catalyze new efforts.
posted on 2011-11-30 22:41 UTC by Dr Stas Burgiel, National Invasive Species Council
RE: Identifying integrated solutions to island biodiversity threats (case: invasive alien species)
Supporting and agreetings totally to the comments above, i wished to add the following:
- the importance of identifying integrated 'holistic' solutions and approaches to address and respond to threats that affect the overall biodiversity.
- most of the time, islands have limited technical instutitonal and human resource expertise and capacities. Hence, the importance of bringing in external experts, who are also willing to learn first, what the issues are, that threatens the overall biodviersity of islands, and then together with the local counterparts, work to identifying the best solutions that work best for such national context. This is important in small islands, where staff shortage, inadequate national budgetary allocations, are some of the key challenges. In such way, the solutions external experts and local counterparts may come up with for addressing and responding to such threats are within the consideration of available resources at national, island and village levels, as appropriate.
- Kiribati has benefitted alot from the interaction of IAS experts, who visited Kiribati and work with local staff to address the IAS issues at the island level. This provided the opportunity for technical capacity building on the ground, at the national level and also provides the opportunity for external experts to learn in-depth, on the issues on hand, etc. A good example is the IAS technical assistance that Govt of Kiribati has been receiving from NZ and other experts, who have provided support to address IAS and biosecurity of Kiritimati as one of the gateway into the PIPA, with financial assistance from various sources including the NZAid.
posted on 2011-12-09 23:40 UTC by Ms Nenenteiti Teariki-Ruatu, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development