Managing pathways – South African context

Managing pathways – South African context
Nomahlubi Sishuba
Department of Environmental Affairs

Aichi Target 9 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 states: “By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment”. The Government is adopting the precautionary principle in managing invasive alien species, wherein prevention is given more priority as it is proven to be more effective and cheaper than management of established invasives, thus making exclusion of invasives by border control the first line of defence. Prevention works by identifying pathways and establishing four barriers, namely pre-export, pre- border, at-border and post-border rapid response. Previously, there has been a disproportionate emphasis on post-border activities with insufficient effort directed at the prevention of invasives entering South Africa to the detriment of the biosecurity system as a whole.