From global to local and back in support of invasion management

From global to local and back in support of invasion management
Melodie A. McGeoch1,2
1Scool of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton 3800, VIC, Australia; 2DST-NRF Centre for Invasion Biology

Effective governance of the environment, including the problem of biological invasions, includes consideration of biological, analytical, reporting and jurisdictional scales. Local benefits accrue from awareness and adoption of global approaches by (1) being able to motivate for the importance of local initiatives in a global context, (2) aligning activities with best practice, and (3) being able to draw on readily available information resources. Globally, the benefits lie with accumulation of national and local tests of these schemes so that they can be refined where necessary. Importantly, harmonised approaches across scales facilitate rapid transfer of information and its translation into more targeted and relevant policy.

In practice, however, there is often a disconnect between current, local scale information informing broader level policy, and also often a lag between international developments informing national scale action. In many cases global developments have lagged behind the varied national invasive species monitoring and information management solutions developed for specific applications. I will illustrate this with a selection of recent developments and examples in invasion science and policy in support of invasion monitoring and management.

An approach to keeping the pipeline of communication and information flow on biological invasions has recently been proposed and its further development and adoption is underway. This approach includes inter alia: (1) A small set of essential variables for invasion monitoring based on the concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables, and (2) a feasible, modular approach to the development of national (or finer scale) observation and monitoring systems for alien and invasive species. This approach will benefit efforts to slow the rate of biological invasions across local to national and international scales.