SBSTTA 9 Recommendation IX/15

Invasive alien species

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

Recommends that the Conference of the Parties:


Welcomes the collaboration between the Convention on Biological Diversity and other Conventions and organizations, in particular the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Plant Protection Convention, in developing mechanisms to address the threats posed by invasive alien species;

(b) Welcomes progress on the draft 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 when it is adopted and opened for signature;


Recognizes the need to strengthen further institutional coordination among international organizations and requests the Executive Secretary to strengthen collaboration with other relevant partners, and in particular to:

          (i) 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;

          (ii) Further collaborate with relevant organizations and initiatives including the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the International Maritime Organization;

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

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

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

          (vi) Establish closer linkages with the Office International des Epizooties;

          (vii) 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;

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


Recognizing the need to strengthen institutional coordination at international, regional and national levels on invasive alien species as a trade-related issue:

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

        (ii) 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;

        (iii) 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;

        (iv) Invites Parties and Governments to take into consideration, as appropriate, the risks from invasive alien species during the development, expansion and environmental review of bilateral and regional trade arrangements; and

        (v) Invites Parties and 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;

(e) Invites relevant Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other Governments, as well as national, regional and international organizations to:

          (i) 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;

          (ii) Support national and regional decision-making and rapid response through the further development of risk analysis, alert lists, diagnostic tools and capacity development;

          (iii) 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;

          (iv) Allocate, as appropriate, adequate financial resources and capacity for border control and quarantine measures with a view to improve synergies with policies relating to trade facilitation, food security, human health and environmental protection;

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

          (vi) Consider the introduction of positive incentive measures for the eradication or control of invasive alien species and the use of native species in land and water management and other programmes;

          (vii) Proactively engage stakeholder groups in the eradication, and in the prevention and mitigation of impacts, of alien invasive species, including by awareness-raising and training as well as through the design and implementation of appropriate incentive measures;

(f) Notes that specific gaps in the international regulatory framework persist, notably in relation to species that are invasive, but do not qualify as plant pests or animal diseases, and with regard to the following potential pathways:

          (i) The use of non-native organisms in aquaculture and the restocking of marine and inland water systems for commercial and recreational fisheries;

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

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

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

          (v) Intentional introduction of alien species as biocontrol agents for control or eradication of invasive alien species or pests or weed control;

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

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

(g) 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;

(h) 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 framework, in particular the specific gaps identified in paragraph (f) above, and, on the basis of the work of the expert group, to make recommendations for the full and effective implementation of Article 8(h) of the Convention, to the Conference of the Parties. The expert group should:

          (i) Further clarify the gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework that are significantly hindering countries' efforts to manage threats 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;

          (ii) Develop practical options on how to address these gaps and inconsistencies, where possible within the context of existing international frameworks, 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;

          In the event that the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group identifies the potential need for standards or other measures, it should also 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;

(i) 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 decision VI/23 27/, and in the present decision;

(j) Considers the need for sustainable financing for improved prevention, rapid response and management measures to address the threats of invasive alien species.