Invasive Alien Species
Invasive alien species (IAS) are animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms whose introduction or spread outside of their natural habitats causes economic and environmental problems. They are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity.
The proliferation of invasive alien species disrupts the ecological balance of the area being invaded. The native species lose their natural habitat and food, which can lead to their extinction. Controlling and reducing the number of these invasive alien species require financial resources that may lead to major economic problems to the areas or countries being invaded.
Various strategies and activities are being implemented to address IAS. These include collaborative engagements being organized to manage IAS in the region, such as joint workshops and conferences tackling the IAS agenda, and exchanging experiences on the management and control practices that the ASEAN Member States are doing. The SEAMEO Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP) regularly conducts a regional training course on IAS management to boost the knowledge and capacity of researchers, scientists and technical personnel. Research initiatives in the region and in each country focusing on specific IAS, its management and control measures have also been conducted. The UNEP-GEF-CABI Regional Project on Removing Barriers to Invasive Species Management in Production and Protection Forests in SEA is a program being implemented in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam, together with other stakeholders in the region including ACB.
Invasive species continue to demonstrate impacts both on land and water habitats, imposing heavy expenditures for their control and management. IAS continue to spread with the influence of changing temperatures. Although ASEAN Member Stateshave identified IAS and prioritized actions for their management, an in-depth research, survey, identification and analysis of the priority IAS in the region, including its pathways of introduction and early detection should be conducted. Cost-effective eradication and restoration programs, including research on and testing of new control technologies should be implemented. Increased efforts to manage the introduction pathways should be mainstreamed in all government and private endeavors.