Invasive Alien Species (IAS) threaten biodiversity, society, human-health, well-being and the economy. The economic impact to Europe is estimated EUR 12.5 to 20 billion (annually). Europe has committed to tackling IAS through Target 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 which is in line with target 9, COP 10 Decision X/2; an information system is a prerequisite to meet strategy through effective early warning and rapid response for prevention and control of IAS. Initiatives to collate information on IAS have resulted in the development of many databases differing in their geographic, taxonomic and ecological coverage. There are a number of constraints that might limit the effective use of existing databases: data obsolescence, lack of interoperability and uncertainties for long-term sustainability of the various tools.
This Action will facilitate enhanced knowledge gathering and sharing through a network of experts, providing support to a European IAS information system which will enable effective and informed decision-making in relation to IAS. An overarching priority will be to identify the needs and formats for alien species (AS) information by different user groups and specifically for implementation of EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. Correspondingly early warning tools and rapid response protocols will be developed.