The Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia is a strategic framework for improved invasive species management in British Columbia. It offers a foundation for invasive species work across BC and is the basis for our programs and efforts.
The strategy is inclusive and was designed for flexibility towards British Columbia’s wide variety of regions and ecosystems. The strategy’s vision is “British Columbia’s citizens, ecosystems, and resources are protected from invasive species impacts.”
Its scope includes terrestrial and aquatic (freshwater and marine) ecosystems; and invasive plants, animals, microbes (including bacteria), and fungi that have the potential to pose undesirable or detrimental impacts on humans, animals, ecosystems, or the economy. The strategy excludes diseases directly related to human or domestic animal health, aggressive native species that can become invasive, and the effects of climate change on native species distribution.
The strategy addresses three key challenges for invasive species management in British Columbia:
- Numerous invasion pathways and vectors of spread: Ample opportunities exist for invasive species to enter and move within British Columbia through a variety of natural and human-caused pathways of introduction and vectors of spread.
- Increasing impacts: There is a general lack of awareness among British Columbians about invasive species and their impacts to valued resources. Effective management of invasive species requires all British Columbian citizens to work together, take responsibility for their actions, and change their behaviors.
- Insufficient funding, collaboration, and capacity: Invasive species management can be more effective across the province with:
- adequate long-term funding to support management needs;
- collaboration to address management inefficiencies; and
- the necessary institutions, skills, infrastructure, technical support, information management, linkages, networks, and exchanges.
The strategy presents integrated solutions to address the three key challenges. Implementation of all the solutions will provide the most effective results:
- Establish and Enforce Effective Regulatory Tools: Complete an analysis of existing legislation, regulations, and policies, and identify gaps and opportunities for integrating and updating invasive species legislation to ensure it is current, effective, and enforceable.
- Build Strong Collaboration: Bring together all organizations, agencies, groups, and individuals involved in invasive species management in British Columbia and beyond, and work together towards shared goals. This includes supporting current partnerships and fostering new ones, and building cross-jurisdiction collaboration.
- Prevent Introduction and Spread: Reduce the number of invasive species entering, establishing, and spreading across British Columbia by managing key pathways of introduction and vectors of spread, and promoting positive behavior change in British Columbian residents and visitors.
- Implement Effective Control, Restoration, and Monitoring Programs: Eliminate new invasive species introductions by implementing Early Detection and Rapid Response principles and methods, restore ecosystems impacted by invasive species to a functional state, successfully treat invasive species populations to acceptable levels, and monitor invasive species management efforts.
- Conduct Relevant and Applicable Research: Carry out research on invasive species and promote knowledge transfer on prioritized topics and issues among academia, resource managers, and policy makers. This will help identify research needs, promote sound policy development, and assist in delivering effective management practices.
- Provide Stable, Long-Term Funding: Ensure there is adequate, stable, long-term funding for effective and successful invasive species prevention and control in British Columbia.
Finally, the Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia recommends five key initial actions to improve invasive species management in British Columbia:
- Build recognition of, and broad support for, the Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia.
- Produce an implementation plan, with clear priorities, for the strategy.
- Develop a long-term funding strategy for invasive species management in BC.
- Develop performance indicators that are applicable to all existing and potential invasive species in British Columbia.
- Implement the Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia, with the necessary support from the Invasive Species Council of BC serving as the strategy’s steward.