Invasive Alien Species
Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are harmful organisms whose introduction or spread threatens Canada’s environment, economy, or society. IAS pose a significant and growing threat in Canada, causing ecological impacts that are often irreversible. Once established, they are extremely difficult and costly to control and eradicate. Canada has recognized the importance of this issue through endorsement of a variety of international accords. An Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada (the Strategy) was released in 2004, and provided a foundation on which to develop complementary national, federal, provincial and territorial action plans, strategies, legislation, and supporting partnerships. Yet provincial and federal approaches and tools to address IAS threats have been challenged to keep pace and evolve as the threat grows. For that reason, it is important to strengthen and enhance mechanisms that support implementation of the Strategy, and its objectives of prevention, early detection, rapid response and management of IAS.
In February 2015, the federal, provincial, and territorial Conservation, Wildlife and Biodiversity Ministers renewed their commitment to work towards the strategic goals of the Strategy and established an ad hoc Federal-Provincial-Territorial IAS Task Force. The charge to the Task Force was to identify key actions to support continued progress on the implementation of the Strategy. Over the past 18 months, the Task Force has compiled evidence and sought the advice of a broad range of stakeholders, culminating with a National Workshop in February 2016. On the basis of that work, they have developed three broad recommendations. This report presents those recommendations, with focus areas and example priority tasks identified for each.
The three recommendations are:
Improve National Leadership and Coordination of IAS Actions in Canada: Formalize the Federal- Provincial-Territorial Invasive Alien Species Task Force
Focus areas: Strengthen policy frameworks to address IAS; coordinate national studies and analysis; encourage collaboration and partnerships
Improve Emergency Response to IAS Incursions: Develop a National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Initiatives
Focus areas: Provide guidance on how to respond to new invasive species; encourage development of Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Plans; share EDRR experiences and build on lessons learned
Enable Actions by Canadians: Join Forces to Combat IAS
Focus areas: Build strategic partnerships; communicate and educate; build capacity; share information and data; strengthen funding