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08/17: Cyprus adopts the national action plan concerning species introduction and invasive species


The national action plan to control marine species introduction and invasive species in Cyprus, proposed by SPA/RAC, has just been approved by the national authorities

Biological invasions are major contributors to global change and drivers of native biodiversity loss in marine ecosystems, severely challenging the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources. In marine ecosystems, alien marine species may become invasive and substantially change community structure, cause the loss of native genotypes, modify habitats, affect food web properties and ecosystem processes, impede the provision of ecosystem services, impact human health, and cause substantial economic losses.

To mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity, human health, ecosystem services and human activities there is an increasing need to take action to control biological invasions.

The updated Action Plan Action Plan concerning Species Introductions and Invasive Species in the Mediterranean Sea (UNEP/MAP 2017), invites Mediterranean countries “to establish National Plans to prevent the introduction of new alien marine species by controlling their pathways, and to mitigate their negative impact”.

Specifically: “Each National Plan, taking into account the concerned country’s specific features, must suggest appropriate institutional and legislative measures. The National Plan shall be based on the available scientific data and will include programmes for (i) the collection and regular updating of data, especially for the support of EcAp; (ii) the highest possible dissemination of data and relevant information, especially within the framework of MAMIAS; (iii) training and refresher courses for specialists; (iv) awareness-raising and education for the general public, actors and decision-makers; and (v) coordination and collaboration with other states. The national plans must be brought to the attention of all concerned actors and, when possible, coordinated on a regional basis.”

The National Action Plan of Cyprus concerning species introductions and Invasive species, has been elaborated in accordance to the principles and guidelines of the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP 2017). The document will be available soon in SPA/RAC website.