Oct 08

COP 12 IIFB Statement on Invasive Alien Species

Download IIFB Statement on Invasive Alien Species

COP 12, Republic of Korea, October 7, 2014

Thank you Madam Chair,

The IIFB notes the good work done by SBSTTA on IAS. The IIFB notes with some concern that the draft decision on the Review of Work on Invasive Alien Species and Consideration of Future Work only mentions indigenous peoples and local communities in one instance, in the call under 6 (m) for parties to involve IPLCs in the development of comprehensive approaches.

Madam chair, IPLCs are highly vulnerable to IAS both from the direct impacts of invasions, and from the indirect impacts of attempts to control IAS. They are particularly vulnerable because of the ancestral, spiritual and legal ties to particular places, their high dependence on native species for their spiritual practices, their identity, and their livelihoods. Impacts from IAS on native species directly translate into impacts on their traditional knowledge, innovations and practices.

IPLCs are vulnerable to the direct impacts of IAS, as invasive species can displace native species, cause biophysical, hydrological and food web changes that ripple through their local ecosystems.

IPLCs are also vulnerable through indirect impacts, such as the unintended consequences of measures to control IAS through chemical, biological and mechanical means. Indirect impacts include food aid as a pathway for the introduction of IAS.

IPLCs are also threatened by a new phenomenon, species that are shifting their ranges due to climate change and human disturbance. Range-shifted species can have impacts on native species that are similar to those of IAS. Currently there is little consideration of how to cope with the multitude of cultural and social effects of range-shifted species other than the creation of corridors, that can facilitate the loss of native species from the lands, waters and territories if IPLCs, and the arrival of invasive and shifted species. Climate change can also induce the spread of IAS through floods, storms and other extreme events.

The text reflects no consideration of the potential role of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices in the management of IAS. IPLCs are on the front lines, acting both as early warning systems and early response systems to IAS. There is only one reference under para 8(c) that alludes to these many social, economic and ecological impacts are mentioned in the context of the development of decision support tools.

Madam chair, IAS in some cases threaten the cultural survival of IPLCs.

Therefore we suggest a new item in the Review of Work on Invasive Alien Species and Consideration of Future Work under para 8(cbis)

To prepare a note on social, cultural, and livelihood issues related to the direct impacts of invasive alien species, considering, inter alia, the direct impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities and the poor, women and other vulnerable groups; the indirect impacts of measures to control and manage invasive alien species; the pathways of introduction of invasive alien species of relevance to vulnerable groups; the contribution of traditional knowledge, innovation and practices in the detection and monitoring of invasive species and management of invasive alien species risks and impacts; and best practice measures to mitigate, manage and adapt to invasive alien species, with the view to developing a draft program of work to be considered at the 13th meeting of the COP.