MPs urged to take more action against INNS

Research shows that the threat from invasive non-native species (INNS) is growing and causing a huge impact on  biodiversity, increasing the risk of flooding and costing the UK billions of pounds each year. Biosecurity measures can be adopted to prevent the introduction and spread of INNS.

INNS, or invasive alien species, are those that are introduced, intentionally or unintentionally, outside of their natural geographic range, causing environmental, social and/or economic impacts. They can cause losses of native species through impacts such as predation, competition, introducing diseases and altering habitats, and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has identified INNS as one of the biggest drivers of native biodiversity loss worldwide.

Ecology Professor Alison Dunn at University of Leeds and Finn Barlow-Duncan, Impact Officer with Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP), are amongst the stakeholders which include other academics and NGOs, lobbying the Government for more resources to be used for preventative, proactive measures to stop INNS from spreading.

They have contributed to POSTnote research briefing recently published which has been sent to MPs to raise awareness of the action that needs to be taken. This paper summarises the drivers and impacts of INNS and the measures needed to meet national and international environmental targets.

You can read the full briefing which summarises the drivers and impacts of INNS and the measures needed to meet national and international targets

We are working with Leeds and Calderdale Local Authorities to tackle the issue by developing resources and strategies to slow the spread of aquatic INNS through river catchments in Yorkshire.

A series of fact sheets have been produced as part of our project alongside other resources.

Funding for INNS management in the UK tends to be available for individual projects rather than directed towards routine actions that would avoid future costs. Stakeholders have highlighted INNS biosecurity underfunding, with most resources spent on established species as opposed to preventing new INNS arriving and establishing. NGO’s and academics say prevention is more cost effective than treatment. They have highlighted potential savings that could be made taking proactive measures to prevent the arrival of INNS before they become a problem.