Mitigating the Threats of Invasive Alien Species

MitigatingInvasive alien species pose a major threat to terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems in the Caribbean islands. IAS are also a major concern for human livelihoods especially from a perspective of trade and human health. A recent assessment listed at least 552 alien species in the insular Caribbean region mostly from terrestrial habitats, with fewer species reported from freshwater and marine environments. A range of interacting factors influence the potential vulnerability of particular islands in the Caribbean to invasion, including geophysical and ecological complexity, political and economic complexity, multiplicity of pathways, inadequate capacity and linkages between key stakeholder, and influence by trading partners. A region wide response to the invasive species problem is suggested considering the recent experiences with several major invasive pests that served to emphasize the regional nature of these threats. The proposed project aims at the mitigation of the threats to biodiversity and the local economy of invasive alien species in the insular Caribbean.

Impacts of Invasive Alien Species

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is a critical issue in the Caribbean. With a global focus on food and nutrition security amidst serious concerns about impacts of climate change on water resources and food production, it is important to be aware of, and understand how IAS impact on our lives, livelihoods and environment. Such understanding can go a long way in determining our roles in preventing the introduction of IAS and controlling them once they have ‘arrived’. In 2008, Lauretta Burke et al. concluded that the coral reef-associated tourism contributes significantly to economies of Tobago and Saint Lucia.

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