National Strategy for Preventing and Mitigating the Impact of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the Maltese Islands
Invasive alien species are non-native organisms introduced outside of their natural range into a new environment, where they would not naturally occur. They are termed “invasive” because when their introduction is met with favourable conditions, they rapidly grow in abundance and spread in distribution, causing impacts that are detrimental to the environment, to society and the economy. The increase in bioinvasions over the years has been attributed to increased commercial trade and greater mobility of travellers and tourists by means of improved travel and transport by air, land and sea. Invasive alien species are considered to be one of the major causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Indeed, adverse effects brought about by invasive alien species have been observed in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, as well as in manmade ecosystems.
The National Strategy for Preventing and Mitigating the Impact of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the Maltese Islands, and the accompanying National Codes of Good Practice, have been designed for use by all those stakeholders involved in the regulation, movement and use of, as well as management of, alien species in the Maltese Islands. This Strategy and accompanying National Codes of Good Practice fulfil the requirements of Malta’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP, 2012-2020; Measures BI1 to BI4).
The Strategy and its recommendations will create the impetus needed to achieve the national target to prevent, in so far as practical, the introduction and establishment of new invasive non-native species, while those that are established are identified and prioritised for eradication or control, where feasible. This requires a cross-sectoral approach to tackle IAS by identifying all sectoral stakeholders, raising their awareness and motivating them to contribute to the prevention, early detection and control of invasive alien species. Collective action will contribute towards the achievement of goals to combat invasive alien species for the benefit of all.
This policy was approved in line with Article 51 of the Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549) in June 2020
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