Invasive Species are recognized as having extensive impacts on ecosystems and their functioning. This is a new Thematic Group that will be considering this topic as an emerging issue. The Group’s role is to respond to new and changing interactions of invasive species with ecosystems, and on their services. In order to effectively move forward on this topic input from local and indigenous communities, in combination with scientific data will serve as key focus areas for the Group. Some key activities for the Group will be:
· maintaining and enhancing biodiversity where invasive species are present,
· promoting an integrated ecosystem approach to the management of invasive species including Protected Areas,
· investigating the effects of invasive species on Human Health and Food Security and any associated benefits from their remediation,
· other matters as they arise.
We will focus on ecosystem types such as tropical, grass lands, oases, deserts, mountains, tropical and coastal regions, islands and aquatic systems from catchment to coast and the delivery of the associated waters to the marine environment. An important focus will be restoration within these environments and the benefits of restoration to the enhancement of natural biodiversity while reducing the impacts of invasive species.
Due to the cross-cutting and all-encompassing nature of invasive species we plan to work closely with other IUCN Commission Groups including the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), Commission on World Protected Areas (WPA), and Groups within the Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) including the Red List of Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Management, Ecosystem Restoration and other Groups with whom synergies exist.
We are looking forward to collaborating with like minded individuals and Groups to identify and respond to emerging issues on Invasive Species including their impacts and interactions on Ecosystems across the world.