Invasive species threaten food supplies, public health and cost $423 billion

Invasive species displaced by global trade and travel, or by climate change, pose a “serious global threat” to local biodiversity, food security and public health. revealed in a new report.

This “underestimated, underestimated and often unrecognized” threat from invasive alien species will cost the world more than $423 billion in annual economic losses in 2019, according to an Intergovernmental Platform report. A paper on biodiversity and ecosystem services that played a key role in most plant and animal extinctions was published Monday.

Over 37,000 alien species have been introduced worldwide as a result of human activity. For example, they are carried from one place to another on the ballast water of a ship. Of these, 3,500 were found to be harmful and invasive, wreaking havoc on local plant and animal species.

The report says European coastal crabs have damaged commercial shell beds in New England and Canada, while Caribbean pseudomussels have displaced clams and oysters in the Indian Ocean, citing examples of disrupted food supply chains. ing. Mosquito species migrating further north as the planet warms are spreading malaria, Zika and West Nile to previously unaffected areas, highlighting public health risks. .

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As global warming continues to create new habitats for invasive species and international trade and travel return to pre-pandemic levels, countries are tightening border biosecurity, strictly enforcing import controls, and developing early detection systems. needs to be introduced, says the report. Policy makers also need to strengthen the “crucial” Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which aims to reduce the invasion of aggressive alien species by at least 50% by 2030.

“Invasive alien species are the main cause of 60% of the global plant and animal extinctions we have recorded, and the sole cause of 16%,” said Anibal Poshal, Co-Chair of the Assessment. the professor said.

Of the invasive species, about 6% of plants, 22% of invertebrates, 14% of vertebrates and 11% of microbes are known to be invasive, he added, adding that indigenous communities and livelihoods are linked to nature. pointed out that people dependent on are invasive. most endangered.

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The most adverse effects were recorded on islands. The report found that exotic plants outnumber native plants on more than 25 percent of the islands. Terrestrial areas, especially forested and cultivated areas, were more vulnerable to these invasive species compared to freshwater and marine habitats.

“It’s a very costly mistake to think of biological invasion as someone else’s business,” Porshal says. While the damage inflicted varies by location, “these are global risks and challenges, but they have a highly localized impact and are faced by people from all countries, all backgrounds and all communities.” .”

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