Outline for an Approach to a North American Strategy for Invasive Species

 

This proposed approach to a North American strategy on invasive alien species will be considered by the governments of Canada, the United States, and Mexico with the goal of building upon and strengthening existing tripartite agreements and regional organizations (U.S. National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Management Plan, Action Item 38).

 

Elements include:

 

(1)   Enhancing effectiveness and/or expanding scope of existing approaches for prevention and control, identifying gaps in coverage among existing international mechanisms, and/or looking for opportunities to address these gaps.

 

Existing mechanisms that would help to achieve this include:

        North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO), the Organization International des Epizooties (OIE), and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

       The Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management. Explore opportunities to further work on information sharing technologies on invasive alien species and collaboration to reduce the introduction, spread, and impacts of IAS, including wild life pathogens.

       Collaboration among the CEC with the U.S.-Canada International Joint Commission (IJC), the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), and the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC).

 

(2)   Boosting cooperation among the three countries through communication and information exchange, education and outreach, research, technical capacity-building, and international collaborations. Initiatives that would help to achieve this include:

 

       Reducing spread of existing invasive species within North America by facilitating communication and exchange of information among the three countries. Methods might include an Internet list serve for the exchange of invasive species information, such as that developed by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, interoperable databases, such as that proposed by the Global Invasive Species Program (GISP) in collaboration with the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN), and periodic capacity-building and information-sharing conferences.

       Expanding education and outreach programs in the three countries to raise awareness internationally. This could be achieved by coordinating with bilateral and trilateral programs, educational institutions and advisory bodies.

       Building and strengthening the research and technical capacity required to prevent, manage, identify, assess and rapidly respond to the threats posed by invasive species.

       Fostering cooperation between governments, international and nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector in order to expand efforts to provide data, methods, and technologies to prevent, detect, assess, and control invasive species.