Making the EU legislation on iAS a conservation success
The European Union's (EU) new legislation concerning Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is a ground-breaking and commendable attempt to set a common standard for combating IAS across political jurisdictions at a multinational scale. However, the regulation, underpinned by a list of IAS of Union concern, affords Member States a degree of operational flexibility and its successful implementation will be dictated by appropriate national enforcement and resource use. In evaluating this EU legislation, we provide pragmatic recommendations based upon a geo-political analysis of the pan-European capabilities to combat IAS and discuss measures to avoid the risk that the regulation will promote a piecemeal response by stakeholders instead of a truly collaborative effort. We highlight a major deficit in the funding mechanisms to support a comprehensive implementation of the legislation and stress the importance of consultation with the broader scientific community, including with key stakeholders, businesses and the general public. Our recommendations will create incentives for industries, raise awareness among citizens and stakeholders, and help establish a social norm for the EU and further afield. The legislation offers a collaborative Europe the chance to demonstrate its commitment to tackling the problems of IAS and to achieve a successful conservation breakthrough of international importance.
Tollington, S., Turbé, A., Rabitsch, W., Groombridge, J. J., Scalera, R., Essl, F. and Shwartz, A. (2015), Making the EU Legislation on Invasive Species a Conservation Success. Conservation Letters.