Invasive alien species (IAS) are the second biggest threat to biodiversity after habitat destruction. In Southeast Asia (SE Asia), IAS are adversely affecting locally and globally significant biodiversity, and are invading and threatening forest habitats, species and their production capacity, as well as, indirectly, the livelihood of millions of people depending on forests for food, commodities and energy security. Countries in the region recognize the need to implement Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to mitigate the threats of IAS in SE Asia.
Responding to the need for additional action against invasive species, CAB International, in collaboration with a host of partners, is implementing the project entitled, "Removing Barriers to Invasive Alien Species Management in Production and Protection Forests in Southeast Asia". The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
This GEF Project aims to enhance the capacity of four pilot countries (Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam) to manage IAS, particularly in forest ecosystems, by strengthening existing national frameworks for the prevention and management of IAS. A multi-sector approach will be used, as well as fostering regional information exchange and capacity and capacity building between countries, specifically targeting the prevention and biocontrol of 'shared' priority invasive species, being of particular concern because of their negative impacts on production systems as well as forest biodiversity.
The goal of the project is to manage Southeast Asian forests and biodiversity sustainably by reducing negative environmental, economic and human health consequences of IAS.
This will be achieved by establishing national policy and institutional frameworks including National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plans (NISSAP), risk analysis, early detection and rapid response mechanisms for IAS management, as well as, cost-recovery systems to finance IAS activities. Activities will be undertaken to increase regional and national cooperation and create awareness about the threats posed by IAS. An important component will be capacity building which will contribute to the sustainability of all interventions during this project. Pilot SIte activities will enhance capacity and knowledge of all stakeholders to manage IAS more effectively.
The Project is composed of seven components:
- Component 1: Establishing National Policy and Institutional Frameworks
- Component 2: Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia
- Component 3: National Capacity Building and Institutional Support
- Component 4: National Pilots on the Prevention, Control and Management of Priority Forest IAS
- Component 5: National and Regional Information and Awareness Program
- Component 6: Implementation of Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
- Component 7: Project Management and Coordination