Developing invasive non-native species policy: co-ordination, prioritisation and delivery

Niall Moore


There is a growing awareness amongst scientists, politicians and the general public that invasive non-native (alien) species (IAS) are a serious and increasing threat to the environment and economy.  However, the policy in this area is still under-developed in many countries.  While the overall principles are generally agreed, the development and implementation of appropriate national policies often pose a significant challenge.  As an issue that cuts across many areas of government policy, the response to IAS usually involves numerous government departments and agencies and other bodies as well as different levels of government.  There are also highly variable governance structures in different countries with some very centralised whilst others have considerable devolution of policy and delivery.  Also key to developing and delivering IAS policy is the engagement of players outside Government such as NGOs, trade, industry and the research community.  A key question therefore is that, faced with this complex policy and delivery environment, how do we achieve optimum co-ordination of response.  In this era of shrinking government budgets how do we best prioritise the use of scarce resources, foster and spread good practice and learn lessons from other more developed policy areas such as Plant and Animal health.