• 16-APR-2014

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

EU Biodiversity Will Now be Protected from Invasive "Alien Species"

Animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms originated outside of the European territory are considered "alien species" and in many cases they pose a threat to our local biodiversity and ecosystem when they arrive to Europe.

So far, there is little legislation or preventive measures in place, and this is why the European Parliament today passed a regulation to prevent and manage the introduction and spread of those invasive alien species causing a negative impact, either on the environment, human health or socio-economic development.

The author of the parliamentary report, S&D MEP Pavel Poc, said:

"With globalisation and a more interconnected world, biological invasions will increase, and the problem is far from under control. Only 11 % out of more than 12 000 alien species recorded in Europe have an impact on biodiversity and ecosystems, but they are considered to be second in importance as a driver of biodiversity loss and recognised as being a major cause of species extinction, only after habitat loss. So the S&D Group has a strong interesting in taking measures to protect biodiversity.

"Alien species can also vectors of diseases or directly cause health problems. For example, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) has been linked to more than 20 diseases, including yellow fever and Dengue fever. Invasive alien species can also damage infrastructure and recreational facilities and hamper forestry or cause agricultural losses.

"I have been working on this issue for more then 20 years now and I am very pleased to see that the EU is fighting the biodiversity loss. Efforts to minimise the impact of the Invasive Alien Species will be coherent in the member states, and there will be better coordination, which means that their overall effectiveness will be improved. Early warning and rapid response system will help the member states to cut the damage costs and further prevent the negative impacts related to the new invasions.

"The cost of invasive alien species in the EU is estimated to be at least €12 billion/year over the past 20 years, whereas the cost for preventing dissemination, regulation and eradication of invasive species in the EU varies from 40 to 100 million € per year."<Br>
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