»Habitat and species specific protocols for management of forest invasive species in the Asia-Pacific region

Habitat and species specific protocols for management of forest invasive species in the Asia-Pacific region

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APFISN Workshop on

Habitat and species specific protocols for management of forest invasive species in the Asia-Pacific region 


Background

Ever since the global magnitude of the problem of biological invasion was highlighted 120 years ago, it has exasperated with fewer success stories in managing the issue as compared to failures. It is widely recognized that invasion by invasive alien species (IAS) negatively impact biodiversity. They also exert a large number of direct and indirect effects which include those on global economy and the environment. In the present context, these impacts are increasingly exacerbated by a set of global changes. Some of the most significant of the global changes include climate change and habitat destruction through land use change which increase the rate of invasion and also trigger a positive feedback loop in which invasive species lead to further degradation of remaining natural environment and habitats. Diversion of available freshwater to priority sectors have also put pressure on natural ecosystems, which in some cases have resulted in the advent, establishment and proliferation of aquatic invasive flora and fauna. A quick assessment conducted by the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network (APFISN) on alien species invasion in the Asia-Pacific region reveals that while there are many common invaders across countries and that their perceived impact on biodiversity and ecosystem functions vary among countries. Invasive species are a serious threat with devastating impacts on native biota, undermining ecosystems and biodiversity that underpin agricultural production and human wellbeing. However, despite the presence of common problematic IAS, their pattern and impact of invasion varies across the Asia-Pacific region depending on a wide range of natural, human and other factors.

To mitigate these impacts, APFISN has been active in enhancing the capacity of countries in the region to manage IAS. Efforts have also been put to develop protocols to manage the spread of some of the main species. At this juncture, APFISN considers it worthwhile to compile the various management protocols developed for certain specific species and habitats. While compilations on management methods for invasive species and invaded habitats are available, tested protocols have not been presented in a manner so that resource managers can make use of it. APFISN intends to deliberate on two types of protocols- the species specific and the habitat specific ones. Species specific protocols are intended to prevent the influx of a specific species to a habitat and to curtail its establishment, spread, reproduction and finally to manage/eradicate the species. Habitat specific protocols are aimed at protecting specific habitats from invasion and its restoration if the invasion is already in vogue. In both cases, definite plans for site restoration using fast growing indigenous species need to be evolved. Otherwise, either the same or a new invasive species will occupy the habitat frustrating the very objective.

Workshop objectives

The current workshop will provide a platform where the species and habitat specific protocols for managing IAS across the Asia-Pacific region will be presented and deliberated. It is proposed to share all available information on management of invasive herbs, shrubs, climbers and trees and insects, mollusks, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. A session on invasive microbes such as viruses, bacteria and fungi is also planned if there is sufficient interest/response.

  1. Deliberations on species-specific and habitat-specific protocols for the management of forest invasive species.
  2. Dissemination of these protocols amongst researchers and forest managers in the Asia-Pacific region.
  3. Promotion of data exchange and collaboration amongst the member countries in managing forest invasive species.
  4. Discuss a new strategy of APFSIN to: refine goals and objectives of the network (e.g., relevance, organizational structure, etc.); identify a pathway to achieve these goals and objectives (e.g., solution-based approach); and increase engagement and contribution by member countries.