invasive species

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.

After three years of cross-border cooperation in the control of invasive non-native species in Europe, the RINSE Project is coming to a close this September. To celebrate its legacy and results, RINSE is hosting a free closing conference at OPEN, Bank Plain, Norwich. Registration for the event is now open. Please see http://www.rinse-europe.eu/conference for further details.

The European Parliament and Council of Ministers have worked out a provisional deal on the Commission’s proposal aimed at preventing and managing Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Europe. During negotiations, the Greek Presidency rejected the call for national derogations included in the EP’s amendment. However, it agreed with Parliament’s suggestion to keep an uncapped list of IAS of Union concern instead of restricting it to 50 species.

Following the vote in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on 28th January, the European Environment Bureau criticised a number of the MEPs amendments to the Commission proposal aimed at preventing and managing Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Europe. However, with the adoption of the Parliament’s amendment, exceptions regarding the commercial cultivation or breeding of species of Union concern could be accepted, on condition that they have a high economic, social or environmental value. The amendment also allows for national derogations.

Following an orientation debate on the draft regulation on prevention and management of invasive species in the Environment Council by EU ministers, there is optimism amongst the institutions that legislation can be approved before the European Parliament elections in May 2014.

This week the European Commission adopted new legislation to prevent and manage the rapidly growing threat from invasive species. There are currently over 12 000 species present in Europe which are alien to the natural environment. About 15% of these are invasive and they are rapidly growing in number. The proposal is designed to respond to increasing problems caused by these invasive alien species, which includes their economic impact, on human health, damage to buildings and production losses in farming with crops and animals.