Mon, 23rd October 2017 | Updated Thursday 27 July 2017, 09:18:58    

Seychelles steps up effort to fight invasive species

Seychelles Nation 13. 05. 14 - A national workshop to validate a structure for an emergency response plan (ERP) for pests, diseases and invasive alien species incursions and outbreaks took place this week.

During the two-day workshop, held at the Seychelles Fishing Authority's training room, stakeholders were to provide their inputs into the technical, management and operational structure of the plan, including the command and control processes as well as the mobilisation and deployment of resources.

This is the first ERP for potentially damaging invasive plants and animals. It has resulted from a previous workshop held earlier this year to introduce the plan.

The ERP is being developed under the GOS-UNDP-GEF project Mainstreaming Prevention and Control of Introduction and Spread of Invasive Alien Species, implemented by project manager Lindsay Chong-Seng. It is being funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Global Environment Fund (GEF) with the support of the government of Seychelles.

The two-day workshop was conducted by Fiona Macbeth, a senior Australian biosecurity advisor.

She presented an overview of the proposed ERP and its applications in Seychelles .

Delegates, who consisted of staff of the Ministry of Environment and Energy and of the Ministry of Natural Resources, associated government agencies, environmental NGOs, and representatives of the private sector, were actively engaged in testing the plan through biosecurity scenario exercises.

In a short speech to officially open the workshop, Mr Chong- Seng said that the GEF has donated US $3 million to Seychelles for biosecurity.

Seychelles being a group of islands in the middle of the ocean and being part of the modern world, welcome lots of flights, ships and tourists from all over the world and they can be bearers of plants, seeds or insects that can be harmful to our ecological environment.

The development of the ERP is required under the Animal and Plant Biosecurity Act, which was recently endorsed by the National Assembly. Its purpose is to provide guidelines describing the management structures for decision making, critical procedures and information flows in the event of an emergency response to eradicate a new invasive alien species. It will be consistent with international and contemporary incident management planning and provide national guidelines for response procedures to pests, diseases and invasive alien species incursions, as well as key roles and responsibilities of governments and stakeholders.

The invasive alien species are reported to be the single greatest threat to native species and habitats in Seychelles. They are harmful alien species whose introduction or spread threaten the environment, the economy, or society, including human health.

They cost the Seychelles economy several millions of dollars annually, represent a major threat to the country's unique biological diversity and could have severe negative impacts in the long run if unchecked.

Over the years, concrete steps have been taken by local environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) to eradicate invasive alien species from the islands and to restore the ecosystems.

The aim of the biosecurity project is to increase capacities to prevent and control the introduction and spread of invasive alien species through trade, travel and transport across the production landscape.

The project seeks to enable Seychelles to put in place adequate policy and legal framework and strengthen institutional capacity for preventing the entry of invasive alien species; control the spread of these species within the archipelago by moving forward plans and undertaking actions to improve border control; enact laws to govern internal control of the species and build stronger collaborations among government, private and civil sectors working with invasive alien species and eradicate invasive fauna and control weeds with improved technology.

ERP

Source: Seychelles Nation @ http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=241995

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