In Europe, it is estimated that 80% of the invasive alien plants are voluntarily introduced for ornamental purposes, and international trade is increasing yearly. This major pathway must be addressed urgently to prevent entry and spread of invasive alien plants, as at present, few legislation and management programmes are in place. Voluntary measures to tackle the problem and raise awareness among the horticultural sector and the general public are therefore considered to be a priority.
In 2008, EPPO and the Council of Europe (CoE) jointly drafted and published a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants.
In 2009, the EPPO Council agreed the EPPO Standard PM3/74(1) Guidelines on the development of a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants.
In 2011, a new illustrated version of the EPPO/Council of Europe Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants was released and is available from the Council of Europe website in English and French. This Code of conduct provides essential information for Governments, as well as the horticultural and landscape sectors, on existing regulations concerning invasive alien plants, and it provides guidelines on plant waste disposal, labelling of plants, planting of alternative plant species, publicity, etc.
Following the first publication of the Code of conduct, EPPO and the Council of Europe organized a joint Workshop 'Code of conduct on horticulture and Invasive Alien Plants' (2009-06-04/05, Ski, NO) to reflect on how it could be implemented.
In addition, in order to assess the implementation of this Code of conduct within countries, EPPO, the Council of Europe and the European Environment Agency (EEA) joined forces to launch an electronic questionnaire in June 2011. This questionnaire highlighted that 12 national initiatives involving Codes of conduct were either on-going or planned in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, the Great Britain. Descriptions of the actions implemented were summarized in the EPPO Reporting Service issues of June 2011 and July 2011.
This survey allowed identifying that the Code of conduct has been translated in different languages: