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Invasive alien species in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Setting management targets for the next decade


Online, MS Teams

Date & Time

29 September 2021 to 30 September 2021


Srijana Joshi Rijal & Nakul Chettri

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About the webinar

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.


  • Share knowledge on the current status of invasive alien  species in the HKH region
  • Share global experiences on research and good practices in invasive alien species management
  • Discuss priority actions and make key recommendations for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on invasive alien species


Expected outcomes
  • Consensus on priority actions for invasive alien species in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in the mountains, and the HKH in particular



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.


Time Programme Speaker
Opening session
10:00-10:10 Welcome remarks Isabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD
Technical session
10:10-10:25 Alien plant invasion in the Hindu Kush Himalaya Srijana Joshi, Ecosystem Services, ICIMOD
10:25- 10:40 Bhutan TBC-Dorjee Dorjee, Bhutan
10:40- 10:55 China TBC, Kunming, China
10:55- 11:05 India Anzar Khuroo, Associate Professor, University of Kashmir, India
11:05- 11:20 Nepal Bharat Babu Shrestha, Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
11:20- 11:35 Pakistan TBC- Huma Qureshi, Gomal University, Pakistan
11:35- 12:20 Discussion
Closing session
12:20- 12:30 Conclusion and way forward Nakul Chettri, Transboundary Landscapes, ICIMOD

15:00-15:05 Welcome remarks Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
Technical session
15:05-15:10 Recap of Day 1 Srijana Joshi, Ecosystem Services, ICIMOD
15:10-15:25 Global plant invasion David R. Clements, Professor, Trinity Western University
15:25-15:40 Mountain plant invasion Agustina Barros, National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina
15:40-15:55 IUCN TBC
15:55-16:05 Q & A
16:05-16:40 Plenary discussion on key message delivery to CBD COP 15 TBC
Closing session
16:40-16:50 Conclusion and way forward Nakul Chettri, Transboundary Landscapes, ICIMOD
16:50-16:55 Closing remarks TBC
16:55-17:00 Vote of thanks TBC