Consultative Meeting on the Second Draft of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2030
October 26, 2022
The UNDP Country Office in Mauritius, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, organised a consultative meeting on 19 – 20 October to present the second draft of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan (NIASSAP) 2023-2030. The workshop aimed at gathering feedback and comments from around 50 key stakeholders from various Ministries, the private sector, parastatal organisations and NGOs, who were present during the two-day event.
Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is a term used to describe animals, plants, pathogens, and other organisms that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found. They present a serious threat for their new environment, the country’s economy, and the health of the population. The UNDP-GEF ‘Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species’ project, which aims at safeguarding globally significant and vulnerable biodiversity through the prevention, control and management of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the Republic of Mauritius. This will be done by strengthening the legislative, policy and institutional framework of the Republic of Mauritius, which includes the review and update of the existing NIASSAP. This will provide several high-level strategies to the Government of Mauritius and enable them to effectively prevent, control and manage IAS threats to the country.
Following consultations with more than 150 stakeholders over the past few months, the updated NIASSAP includes a review of the different scenarios and options for the holistic and sustainable implementation of the strategy. An Environment Coordination Committee has been chosen to act a platform whereby all relevant stakeholders will report and share information regarding IAS prevention, control and management. An advisory committee will also be set up under the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping to address the import of marine species. Special emphasis will be placed on awareness raising and sensitization regarding the negative impacts of IAS on the country.
Strengthening the legislative framework to control and manage IAS effectively
While addressing the audience, Mr. Kevin Ruhomaun, Director of the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), explained that the review and update of NIASSAP would result in a series of measures to enable Mauritius to progress in the field of biodiversity conservation.
Mr. Daniel Julie, SGS Mauritius, highlighted that the proper prevention, control and management of Invasive Alien Species is one of the pillars of stability for our ecosystem. He also stressed the importance of maintaining a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach throughout the review of the NIASSAP, including the way forward.
The workshop also included breakout sessions where stakeholders had the opportunity to provide their comments on the strategy. It also included activities such as discussions on the costed action plans, the terms of reference for the IAS Committees and a long term, innovative financial strategy for the coordinating committee. The stakeholders also discussed ways to involve the Rodrigues Regional Assembly, which is facing challenges, such as the proposed opening of the new aircraft runway and a resulting exponential increase in flight arrivals.
The final version of the NIASSAP 2023-2030 is expected to be presented to the Cabinet in 2023. The strategies proposed will be in line with the Mauritius Vision 2030, the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2025, and the Guiding Principles of the Convention of Biological Diversity.