Invasive alien species
Invasive alien species (IASs) are those which have become established in natural or semi-natural ecosystems or habitats, outside their native range. Their introduction may be deliberate or accidental, often as a result of increased globalization of transport. The spread of invasive alien species can cause enormous damage to ecosystems, livelihoods and human health.
Invasive alien species and their negative effects are often underestimated whereas adequate mitigation measures would be necessary. They cause 12.5 billion euros’ worth of damage each year in the EU in terms of health care and animal health, crop-yield losses, damage to infrastructure, protected species and so forth. Indirect drivers, such as the fact that biodiversity’s economic value is not reflected in decision-making, are also taking a heavy toll on biodiversity itself. The number of IASs in Europe has grown substantially in recent years. Although the challenges posed by IASs are common to many Member States, there is currently no dedicated, comprehensive EU policy to address them.