ZSI, BSI join hands to combat invasive species
Kolkata: With invasive alien species emerging as the second largest threat to biodiversity across the world including India, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have joined hands to come up with a strategy on how to control the invasion of these exotic species in the country by the year 2020.
"This is one of the 20 biodiversity targets that was ratified at AICHI in Japan. India had signed the treaty and both ZSI and BSI were signatory to it. The pathways of these species are to be identified and prioritised and priority species should be controlled and eradicated. Measures should be in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment," ZSI director Kailash Chandra said.
A two-day national conference on Status of Invasive Alien Species in India jointly organised by ZSI and BSI kicked off in the city on Thursday where more than 110 delegates from different states belonging to colleges, universities, research Institutions, forest departments, National Biodiversity Authorities and NGOs were present.
The two-day conference is aimed at assessing the current status of invasive alien species and their effect on biodiversity, impact of biological invasion on ecosystem services, mitigation measures to minimise the impacts of invasive species, institutional framework and the networking among stakeholders for the development of national strategy and action plan on invasive alien species management.
Paramjit Singh, director BSI said the two institutions will work together for controlling the invasion of these alien species and will also prevent the entry of such new species in future. Science, along with management issues coupled with legal backing can help in controlling the invasion and we are hopeful that India will take the lead in preparing a road map for the future.
As per studies by scientists, 157 species of fauna have been identified so far to have invasive status, of which 99 are in marine scape while the rest 58 are in landscape. 31 exotic insects are affecting the aquatic system as well as the agriculture.