TARGET 9 - Technical Rationale extended (provided in document COP/10/INF/12/Rev.1)

Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.

Target 9: By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment

Technical rationale: Invasive alien species are those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (Article 8(h)). They are a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services, as identified by most Parties in their fourth national reports. They often have a particularly detrimental effect in island ecosystems. In some ecosystems, such as many island ecosystems, invasive alien species are the leading cause of biodiversity loss. In addition, invasive alien species can pose a threat to food security, human health and economic development. Increasing trade and travel means the threat is likely to increase unless additional action is taken.32

Implementation: Pathways for the introduction of invasive alien species can be addressed through improved border controls and quarantine, including through better coordination with national and regional bodies responsible for plant and animal health, as well as through early warning mechanisms, rapid response measures and management plans. Given the multiple pathways for invasive species introductions and that multiple alien species are already present in many countries it will be necessary to prioritize control and eradication efforts to those species and pathways which will have the greatest impact on biodiversity and/or which are the most resource effective to address. Work initiated by the International Plant Protection Convention, the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Trade Organization’s Committee on the Agreement for the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and its Standards and Trade Development Facility, could also be built upon when taking actions to meet this target. The Global Invasive Species Programme has also developed several tools. Of the Convention’s programmes of work, that dealing with invasive alien species is the most relevant to this target, however, given the particularly acute impact of invasive alien species on island ecosystems, the programme of work on island biodiversity is also relevant. Actions to implement the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, a convention adopted through the International Maritime Organization which seeks to prevent the spread of organisms carried in ships' ballast water, could also help to achieve progress towards this target.

Indicators and baseline information: Process indicators for this target could include the number of countries with national invasive species policies, strategies and action plans, and the number of countries which have ratified international agreements and standards related to the prevention and control of invasive alien species. One outcome-oriented indicator is trends in invasive alien species while other possible indicators could include the status of alien species invasion, and the Red List Index for impacts of invasive alien species. While well-developed and globally-applicable indicators are lacking, some basic methodologies do exist which can serve as a starting point for further monitoring or provide baseline information.33 The work undertaken by the Global Invasive Species Programme, as well as by IUCN’s Invasive Species Specialist Group, could be useful starting points in this regard. Further, many countries do have data on invasions and pest outbreaks and therefore national-level targets might be developed.


Options for milestones for this target include:

  • By 2014, potential pathways for invasive alien species are identified using a risk assessment framework, and lists of the most harmful invasive species are developed;
    * By 2014 action plans are developed and relevant legislation is reviewed;
  • By 2016, actions have been taken to address the most important introduction pathways and the most serious invasions;
  • By 2020, the measures which have been put in place have been assessed to determine their impact.

32Hulme, P E (2009). Trade, transport and trouble: managing invasive species pathways in an era of globalization. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46(1), 10-18.
33McGeoch, M A, et al. (2010). Global indicators of biological invasion: species numbers, biodiversity impact and policy responses. Diversity and Distributions, 16(1), 95-108.