- Space invaders—cracking down on invasive species harming the UK environment
- How do INNS damage the UK’s natural environment?
- What is the current legal framework for INNS?
- Why are the numbers of invasive species entering the UK so high?
- Are stricter regulations and enforcement needed? What form could these take and how would these be enforced?
- How is Brexit, and the changes to UK border and trade management, likely to cause even more INNS to enter the UK environment?
- The EAC has called for public action in the form of a 1.3 million ‘citizen army’ to identify invasive species in the UK. What are the implications of this? Would it be effective?
Environment analysis: As international trade increases, so does the risk of invasive, non-native species (INNS) entering the UK’s natural habitat and causing significant damage. Considering the Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC) calls for more citizen action, and increased effort in other countries to slow the rate of INNS, we look at the UK’s policies and infrastructure and whether they are strong enough. Paul Walton, head of habitats and species at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland, considers that a more domestically-focussed regime resulting from Brexit could bring risks and opportunities, and says ‘strengthening and improving surveillance and enforcement should be the most urgent immediate priority in moving to more effective national responses to INNS threats in the UK’.
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