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EPPO activities on Invasive Alien Plants

 

EPPO protects plants in agriculture, forestry and the uncultivated environment. For over 60 years, EPPO has sought to prevent the introduction and spread of organisms which are harmful to plants in the European and Mediterranean region. Traditionally, EPPO has given priority to pests of cultivated plants (i.e. insects, nematodes, fungi, bacteria, viruses), but more recently as new emphasis was given to the protection of biodiversity, it was acknowledged that plant protection also applied to plants in the uncultivated environment. Wild plants can be threatened by the introduction and spread of pests, and notably by 'invasive alien plants' which can seriously disturb and destroy natural plant communities. Therefore in the early 2000s, EPPO started to work more specifically on invasive alien plants, in particular to analyze the risks presented by specific invasive alien plant species for the EPPO region and recommend measures to prevent their introduction and spread via international trade.

 

EPPO Panel on Invasive Alien Plants

In 2002, a Panel of experts on Invasive Alien Species was established. In 2012, it was renamed 'Panel on Invasive Alien Plants' to better reflect its activities. It meets once a year and has the following aims:

  • To provide information on invasive alien plants for the EPPO region,
  • To conduct studies on risk analysis of specific invasive alien plants,
  • To recommend measures to prevent their introduction and spread,
  • To recommend measures to eradicate, suppress and contain invasive alien plants already introduced.

The current composition of the EPPO Panel can be viewed on this website, as well as summaries of the meeting discussions and pictures.

 

Current EPPO achievements

EPPO Lists of Invasive Alien Plants

The Panel has established Lists of Invasive Alien Plants on the basis of transparent criteria and using the EPPO Prioritization Process on Invasive Alien Plants (see below). EPPO recommends countries endangered by these species to consider measures to prevent their introduction and spread or to manage unwanted populations.

 

EPPO Prioritization Process

The number of plants that can be considered as potential pest species is huge and there is a need to determine priorities. The Panel agreed that EPPO’s recommendations should be focused on species which are not widely distributed or absent from the region and for which efficient prevention, eradication or containment action can be undertaken. Consequently, the Organization has elaborated a prioritization process for all known or potential invasive alien plants in the EPPO region which was adopted as an EPPO Standard in 2012. Read background information about the prioritization process.

 

Risk Analysis

Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) has been recognized by National Plant Protection Organizations as a key activity for EPPO. Expert Working Groups (EWGs) have been established to perform PRAs on specific plant species and the Panel on Invasive Alien Plants has been given the task of reviewing these PRAs. All PRA documents prepared by EPPO can be retrieved on this website (in the EPPO lists of Invasive Alien Plants or the specific section on PRA).

Pathway analyses are regarded by National Plant Protection Organizations as a very efficient way to address the risks posed by invasive alien species. The following two topics have been specifically tackled by EPPO:

 

Management of Invasive Alien Plants

EPPO Standards on the management of invasive and potentially invasive alien plants are being developped:

EPPO and the Council of Europe have published a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants:

  • EPPO/CoE Code of conduct: in Europe, it is estimated that 80% of the invasive alien plants are voluntarily introduced for ornamental purposes, and international trade is increasing yearly. The joint EPPO and Council of Europe 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.

 

Information exchange

As for other pests, an important mission of EPPO is to promote information exchange on invasive alien plants, via its publications/databases and international conferences:

 

Special topics

We would like to encourage EPPO member countries to report on this webpage their national activities concerning invasive alien plants. Contact: brunel@eppo.int

 

Contacts and partnerships

Mutual exchange of information and partnerships on activities related to invasive alien plants are being built with: