Presentation of the first draft of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2030
July 29, 2022
On 26 and 27 July, UNDP Mauritius, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security and the National Parks and Conservation Service, held a technical meeting to present the first draft of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan (NIASSAP) 2023-2030. The event held in Port-Louis also aimed at gathering inputs from representatives of ministries, parastatal bodies and NGOs, and finetuning this new strategy which will ultimately contribute to better protect Mauritius, Rodrigues and outer islands against Invasive Alien Species.
Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are living organisms which spread into new territories and cause the destruction of native biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems. Often associated with the movement of people and goods, IAS have impacts that cut across every sector of society, including the economy, and also threaten food security and human health. The Republic of Mauritius, which is a trade dependent country, has a series of legislative tools including the 2010-2019 NIASSAP to manage IAS. This legislative framework, which comprises several high-level strategies, needs to be updated and harmonised for increased coordination and efficiency in controlling IAS at national level.
The review and update of the 2010-2019 NIASSAP is being carried out under the component 1 of the GEF-UNDP ‘Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control, and Management’ project which supports globally the safeguard of significant biodiversity in vulnerable ecosystems. This revision, which includes conclusions from previous consultations, is driven by SGS, a multinational company providing inspection, verification, testing and certification services, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security and the National Parks and Conservation Service.
A consensual review towards an overarching strategy for IAS
In his opening message, Mr. Kevin Ruhomaun, National Project Director and Director of the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), highlighted that the aim of the technical workshop is to allow relevant stakeholders to participate fully in the review of the NIASSAP. Mr. Ruhomaun added that the major aim of the review process is to come forward with a workable document which is practical and easy to implement by the different users.
During his presentation of the review of the NIASSAP, Dr. Guillaume Drillet, from SGS, went across various aspects of the project namely its approach and timeline. Dr. Drillet emphasized that the review of the NIASSAP is performed in the most consensual way to yield an overarching strategy which will harmonize the country’s response to IAS. Dr Drillet’s presentation also mentioned the structure and Terms of Reference of the National IAS Coordinating Committee (NISC), which will become the Apex Agency for IAS control and management in Mauritius.
The two-day technical workshop was also an opportunity for Ernesta Swanepoel to make a presentation of the legal, policy and institutional reforms proposed in the context of the review of the NIASSAP. The Action Plan and the gender strategy of the project were also discussed.
The review process of the NIASSAP has to be finalized by November 2022, before presentation of the validated document to Cabinet.