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EU governments to begin invasive species action

Member states have until 2nd January 2016 to put in place “fully functioning structures” to prevent the intentional introduction of invasive alien species into the EU when the European Commission introduces its first list of species to be banned. Those species that are causing the most damage will be prioritised under the regulation 1143/2014, which enters into force on 1 January 2015 after it was published in the EU Official Journal on 4th November - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1415755380478&uri=CEL.... The regulation equips the European Union with an effective system that will prevent the introduction and spread of species that can cause significant adverse impacts on the environment, the economy, and human health. The system will be based on a list of species of Union concern, to be drawn up with the Member States on the basis of comprehensive risk assessments and robust scientific evidence. The list will focus on the species that cause the most serious damage. When considering species for listing, their socio-economic benefits, and the concerns of established commercial sectors, will be taken into account. 

The final text of the regulation, approved by Council of Ministers and European Parliament, sets no limit on the number of species to be tackled.  The reguilation will tackle the rapidly growing threat to biodiversity from invasive species and is a crucial step towards achieving the EU's 2020 biodiversity targets, while also delivering on a commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity to establish rules to address the threats posed by these species. Member states will have 18 months from the adoption of the first list of banned species to establish surveillance systems and management measures, and to identify “priority pathways” for the spread of the species in their jurisdiction. And 18 months after that they should publish an action plan to address these priority pathways. The regulation seeks to tackle a problem estimated to cost EUR 12 billion every year, we are taking a decisive step towards meeting our objective of halting the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020. READ MORE
Derogation from the early eradication can be sought if eradication is technically impossible or would pose a serious risk to human health or to the environment. A derogation is also possible on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis showing that the costs will, in the long term, be exceptionally high and disproportionate to the benefits of eradication.

Member states can also apply for derogations from the overall requirement to ban invasive species “for reasons of compelling public interest, including those of a social or economic nature”. The Commission will have the power to decide whether to accept or reject these applications. The law will also require member states to restore ecosystems damaged or degraded by invasive species. The list of species will be updated every six years and the regulation’s application will be reviewed in 2021.
READ MORE - http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/invasivealien/index_en.htm


Issue 37