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Invasive Non-Native Species

The Invasive Non-Native Species Working Group addresses issues associated with invasive non-native species in the UK, through both practical intervention and appropriate legislation. The Group advocates these solutions to decision makers, practitioners, and the general public.

Chair: Emily Smith, Angling Trust
Policy and Campaigns Manager: Zoe Davies, Link

Update from the group:

The Link Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) Working Group continues to advocate for INNS legislation to be properly implemented, resourced and enforced, now and after the UK leaves the EU.

Link recently responded to Defra’s consultation on management measures for widespread INNS. The key message conveyed by Link was that management must be strategic and coordinated, with a clear objective, to minimise suffering of target species and maximise conservation benefits and value for taxpayers’ money.

Following up on Link’s written evidence, Dr. Paul Walton, former Chair of Link’s INNS Working Group, gave oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee for its invasive species inquiry, as did current Chair Dr. Emily Smith, representing the Angling Trust. Paul and Emily highlighted that prevention is much more cost effective than cure with regard to invasive species – particularly as climate change improves conditions for many species to establish – and that islands and their species are highly vulnerable to invasion and require special protection. We await publication of the Committee’s final report.

For Invasive Species Week 2019, Link hosted a panel session in the House of Lords with Minister for Biosecurity Lord Gardiner, Chair of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee Lord Teverson and invasive species expert Professor Helen Roy on the issue invasive species and Brexit. Over 20 MPs and Peers heard from and questioned our panellists on the challenges the UK faces in maintaining and enhancing its biosecurity outside of the EU in the face of limited resources, uncertainty around access to international surveillance systems and intensification of the invasive species threat through global trade and climate change. You can read Link’s position on the issue in full in our Parliamentary briefing.

Throughout Invasive Species Week, Link also raised public awareness of invasive species with its interactive StoryMap and a series of blogs focusing on the impact of INNS on different habitats in the UK including freshwater and riparian, urban, marine, woodland and bogs and islands. Take a look at #InvasivesWeek to catch up on all the action.

For further information, contact Zoe Davies, Link’s Policy and Campaigns Manager.

Last updated: 30 September 2019