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Nature Conservation

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the European Commission's proposals for an EU-wide regulatory approach on non-native invasive species in its Communication entitled “Towards an EU Strategy on Invasive Species”. (253810)

The Commission's proposals are still at a very formative stage and detailed proposals have not yet been brought forward for thorough evaluation. I am aware that options are still being appraised by the Commission and we expect member states to be further involved in discussions soon. The UK has attended all previous meetings with the Commission on development of these ideas and as we now work to implement the "Invasive Non-native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain", we are well placed to contribute to the development of an EU strategy. On 3 February I laid in Parliament an Explanatory Memorandum on the Commission's Communication.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the Convention on Biological Diversity's proposals for a global approach on non-native invasive species. (253811)

Invasive alien species are a major global threat to biodiversity and the Government support the work done under the Convention on Biological Diversity to promote concerted efforts to tackle this. The "Invasive Non-native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain" has at its core one of the key invasive species guiding principles agreed by the parties to the convention—advocating prevention, early detection with rapid eradication and finally, management or control as the most cost effective policy approach. The GB strategy will enable us to take forward many areas of work relevant to implementing the decisions of the parties.

At the ninth conference of the parties in Bonn in 2008, along with a small number of other parties, we signalled our commitment to tackling this issue under the convention with a signed ministerial commitment presented at an event hosted by the global invasive species programme. As part of implementing a more strategic approach, the Government are also supportive of current proposals to develop a stronger EU framework to help address key issues at that scale.