Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

INVASIVES 2020-ISCBC’s 15th Annual Forum & AGM

INVASIVES 2020, the Invasive Species Council of BC’s 15th Annual Forum & AGM, was held February 11 – 13, 2020 at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, BC.

INVASIVES 2020-ISCBC’s 15th Annual Forum & AGM drew over 220 participants and presenters from across Canada, the US and Europe. The attendees had diverse backgrounds, including practitioners, land managers, stewardship groups, invasive species researchers, First Nations leaders, local, provincial and federal government – all with a common interest in invasive species.

Session Themes

The INVASIVES 2020 Forum sessions followed these key themes:

  • Changing climates
  • Industry and invasivesEmerging Issues
  • Management Practices
  • Engaging the Public

The program for INVASIVES 2020 incorporated a variety of workshops, two superb keynote presentations, a gala Together in Action Awards evening, plenary and speedy sessions along with plenty of opportunities for networking throughout the forum including an evening reception with poster presentations.

Prior to the official opening of the Forum, on February 10, 2020, The Local Government Invasive Species Network met and the “Indigenous Land Stewardship & Traditional Uses: Building Tools, Networks & Support for Invasive Species Management Workshop” was held. Both groups gathered for a joint meeting followed by a networking reception. 

Forum Day One Tuesday – February 11

On February 11, 2020, the Forum was officially opened with a welcome by representatives of the Coast Salish Arts & Cultural Society followed by a welcome from David A Bennett from the Invasive Species Council of BC.

The audience was educated on The New Relationships Between People, Plants, Wildlife and the Planet by keynote speaker Brian Minter of Minter Country Garden.

The first plenary session featured “Changing Climates” presentations, covering how climate change is reshaping plant communities, invasive species effects on Pacific Salmon and species’ range expansions and altered interactions.

Lightning Talks covered a wide variety of topics from emerging threats to western North America, the resiliency of ecological systems to invasions, pests of concern to agriculture, knotweed developments and raising awareness of the noxious invasive Italian arum.

The afternoon engaged attendees in speedy sessions where attendees chose to join a series of round table concurrent sessions from the choice of a dozen high interest topics.

Following the break, the final session of the afternoon focused on “Industry and Invasives”, with practical approaches incorporated by various industry sectors in reducing the impacts of invasive species.

On the conclusion of the formal presentations, the evening moved into the “Together in Action Awards Gala”, a celebration event, dinner and opportunity to recognize individuals who have gone “above and beyond” to protect BC from invasive species.

Forum Day Two – Wednesday February 12

Day two of INVASIVES 2020 commenced with an informal ISCBC members breakfast, followed by ISCBC’s Annual General Meeting. Day two of the Forum kicked off with renowned ecologist Dr. Daniel Simberloff delivering a keynote address on Managing Invasions.

Following the welcome, “Engaging the Public” concurrent sessions.  Attendees chose their preferred topic for three concurrent sessions and moved from room to room.

Following the refreshment break, in the spotlight presentations, we heard from:

  • Federal Government Spotlight; Christine Villegas, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Provincial Government Spotlight; Val Miller, Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group
  • Local Government Spotlight; Lesley Douglas, City of Port Moody and Nadia Chan, City of Surrey
  • Indigenous Invasive Species Network Update, Harold Aljam (TBC)

After lunch Jodi Romyn, Invasive Species Council of BC, gave the highlights of 2019. Afternoon sessions focused on Engaging the Public and involving citizens in reporting and responding to invasive species. Emerging issues were the topic of conversation in the late afternoon, highlighting classic weed biocontrol, new invasive plants in BC and the recent reports of Asian giant hornet.

Citizen Science Workshop

Following the last day of the forum, a Citizen Science Workshop, Moving Beyond Outreach, was held on February 13, 2020. The workshop brought together a series of speakers to provide an overview of their lessons learned in ‘citizen science’ and then provide an opportunity to identify what more is needed for British Columbia.

Many thanks to all presenters and participants who traveled from near and far to make the INVASIVES 2020 Forum a huge success.