National Group Bands Together To Fight Invasive Species Threatening Biodiversity

IPCBC News Release, May 7, 2009: WILLIAMS LAKE—Invasive alien species is the international focus for May 22, UN International Day for Biological Diversity.  In Canada, invasive species councils, committees, and coalitions from recently formed a National Invasive Species Working Group to work together to reduce the impact of invasive species across the country. 

The Working Group will work collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries to support actions and information that can help reduce the threat and impacts of invasive species silently spreading across the nation, impacting the environment, economy, and human health.

The National Invasive Species Working Group was formed as a result of a joint meeting early in 2009 where 10 provinces and two territories voiced the desire to share knowledge across Canadian borders, as invasive species ‘know no boundaries.’  Together, members agreed that a national working group would help build bridges across Canada to work together in the battle against invasive species.

Invasive plant and animal species groups are now working in partnership to build upon the lessons learned in each province or territory to improve public awareness of invasive alien species. Detecting emerging invasives early is integral to prevention, as once established, they spread rapidly, causing damage to the environment, economy, and human health. 

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency report, “Invasive Alien Species in Canada,” invasive plant species pose an immediate and growing threat that degrades agriculture and forest productivity, reducing biological diversity. 

The current global cost to tackle invasive species is estimated at $1.4 trillion annually, or five percent of the global economy; likely to worsen as global warming favours their advanced, silent spread across the nation.

The Invasive Plant Council of BC will provide support for the National Invasive Species Working Group meetings and events, with the aim of raising the profile in Canada and to safeguard fragile ecosystems from the immediate threat of invasive alien species.

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For more information, contact the Invasive Plant Council of BC (IPCBC): • (250) 392-1400 •

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