A National strategy for dealing with biological invasions in South Africa

Brian van Wilgen - Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University

In 2013, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) commissioned the drafting of a National Strategy for biological invasions, following the transfer of the Working for Water programme from Water Affairs to DEA.

The strategy was completed in March 2014 by consultants from a wide range of backgrounds, in collaboration with the DEA.

Past approaches to managing alien species in South Africa has a focused on established alien plant invasions and on reducing the risk of introducing pathogens and pests of importance to agriculture and human health.

This new strategy has broadened the focus to cover all taxa (plants, vertebrates, invertebrates and microbial organisms in terrestrial and marine environments) to consider all stages of invasion (introduction, establishment, expansion and dominance)

The strategy promotes the continued combination of all proposed interventions with poverty alleviation through job creation.

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