European Commission

European legislation on invasive alien species

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union recently published Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of 22 October 2014 that sets out rules to prevent, minimize and mitigate the adverse impacts caused by invasive species. This Regulation shall enter into force on 1 January 2015.

According to this document, there are around 12,000 alien species in Europe of which 10-15% are considered invasive posing a serious threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services and human health, as well as having other social and economic impacts.

This legislation foresees three types of interventions: prevention, early warning and rapid response, and management; and relies on a list of invasive alien species of Union concern (“the Union list”) to be developed by Member States using risk assessments and scientific evidence, which should be completed in January 2016 (articles 4 and 5). The listed species will be banned from the European Union, i. e., the species may not be introduced in the Union, created, placed on the market, used or released into the environment (Article 7).

After the adoption of the Union list, Member States shall establish a surveillance system for early detection and rapid eradication of invasive alien species of Union concern (Article 14), as well as implement effective management measures (Article 19). If justified, Member States shall carry out appropriate restoration measures to assist the recovery of invaded ecosystems (Article 20).

Click here for more information about this regulation.

A paper on this EU Regulation has just been published on Conservation Letters: Ambitious advances of the European Union in the Legislation of invasive alien species

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)

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