Brussels presented a new proposal on Monday to ban the introduction of non-native plants and animals in the European Union. There are over 12000 non-native species in Europe, which, according to experts, represent a large threat to the continent’s biodiversity.
The Commission estimates that invasive species cost Europe 12 billion euros every year, as they can damage infrastructure, agriculture and also human health.
‘After habitat loss, invasive species are the second cause of biodiversity loss in the world. They also have significant effect on human health and also on the economy. Effectively, tackling them is a key part of the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy. And it is essential if we want to achieve our goal to hold the loss of biodiversity by 2020’, said EU Environment commissioner Janez Poto?nik.
These alien species have no natural predators and they can quickly spread and overtake an area’s native environment. The Commission’s proposal seeks to work with member states in creating a list of the most invasive groups.
‘We recognize that we can not work on the thousand of invasive species at once. So, we propose to focus efforts on tackling the worst 50 species who’s negative impact are considered of concern for the EU’, said EU Environment commissioner Janez Poto?nik.
‘Specifically, the member states will need to identify priority pathways trough which the invasive species enter their territory. And develop action plans to address them, depending on the pathways identified, effective measures will then need to be taken’.
The proposed legislation will now be examined by the Council and the Parliament.