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Cross-cutting Networks
Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP)

The invasive species challenge

Invasive alien species (IAS) are non-native organisms that cause, or have the potential to cause, harm to the environment, economies, or human health. They are one of the most significant drivers of environmental change worldwide, contributing to social instability and economic hardship, and placing constraints on sustainable development, economic growth, and environmental conservation.

Globalization of trade, travel, and transport, is greatly increasing the number and diversity of harmful organisms being moved around the world, as well as the rate at which they are moving. At the same time, human-driven changes in land use and climate are rendering some habitats more susceptible to invasion. IAS are thus a growing problem that will have to be managed in perpetuity.

Dr Mark Lonsdale, Assistant Chief of CSIRO Entomology
Former Chairperson, Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP)

© M. Girondot

© J. Jeffrey

© R. Mack


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GISP was established in 1997 to address global threats caused by invasive alien species (IAS), and to provide support to the implementation of Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The GISP mission is to conserve biodiversity and sustain human livelihoods by minimising the spread and impact of invasive alien species. To this end, GISP seeks to:

  • improve the scientific basis for decision-making on invasive species
  • develop capacities to employ early warning and rapid assessment and response systems
  • enhance the ability to manage invasive species
  • reduce the economic impacts of invasive species and control methods
  • develop better risk assessment methods, and
  • strengthen international agreements.

In addition, GISP strives to

  • develop public education about invasive species
  • improve understanding of the ecology of invasive species
  • examine legal and institutional frameworks for controlling invasive species
  • develop new codes of conduct for the movement of species, and
  • design new tools for quantifying the impact of invasive species.



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South America Invaded: the growing danger of invasive alien species (2006)
This publication contains a general overview of some of the worst invasive alien species in South America including trees, shrubs, grasses, animals, aquatic invaders and insect pests as well as South American species which have become invasive on other continents. For more information, visit the GISP website

Click here for the pdf version of GISP newsletter.

Last updated: 28 September 2006

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