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Online, MS Teams
29 September 2021 to
30 September 2021
Srijana Joshi Rijal & Nakul Chettri
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Invasive alien species (IAS) are one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss globally, affecting natural ecosystems, agriculture, human health, and livelihoods. The rate of invasion into mountain ecosystems in the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) is likely to increase in the future leading to greater biodiversity loss. Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) stresses the need for IAS management. However, a review of Aichi Targets for the HKH reveals that there has been least progress against Target 9.
This webinar is being organized to share the current state of knowledge on invasive species in the HKH and to present global perspectives on managing invasive species. The webinar will also discuss priorities for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on invasive alien species, contribute to CBD CoP15 by highlighting issues and challenges related to invasive alien species in mountain regions, particularly in the HKH, and suggest priority actions for effective management of invasive alien species.
Mountains are often viewed as resistant to biological invasions, mainly because of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule pressure of pre-adapted species, and a steep elevation gradient. However, rapid economic development and land use change can increase propagule pressure and habitat disturbances in the mountains. Climate change and its impacts can further increase future invasion risks in mountain ecosystems. Rapidly accelerating international trade and travel through various forms of modern transportation are considered the main pathways that have facilitated the spread of invasive species at a rapid rate. About 50 per cent of the invasive plants in the HKH region have been introduced unintentionally.
The CBD had hoped that “by 2020 invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment”. Significant progress has been made so far globally in research over the past decades, particularly on developing tools for assessing the environmental and socio-economic impacts of alien species and creating global database on distribution of invasive alien species, but there are still substantial gaps in our understanding of the dynamics and implications of biological invasions in the HKH region.
The first draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has set Target 6 on IAS, indicating that by 2030 pathways for the introduction of invasive alien species will be identified and prioritised, preventing or reducing their rate of introduction and establishment by at least 50 per cent, and actions undertaken to control or eradicate invasive alien species to eliminate or reduce their impacts, focusing on priority species and sites.