[KUALA LUMPUR] After habitat destruction, invasive alien species are the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide. They have a significant impact on livelihoods and the economy, with losses from the impact on all ecosystems on a global scale estimated at USD$1.4 trillion a year.
For years, many South-East Asian countries have lacked information on the presence, distribution and impact of invasive species, and the policies needed to properly manage this increasingly urgent threat.
Funded by the Global Environment Program, the Forest Invasive Species in Southeast Asia (FORIS) Project was formulated in response to this need for action. The project, which started in 2011 and concluded in late 2016, was developed by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International, the UN Environment Programme and a host of other partners.
It was formulated to assist Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines to better manage the threat of invasive alien species through policy development, capacity building and facilitating better coordination among national and regional stakeholders.
In the following video, A. Sivapragasam, CABI regional director for South-East Asia, explains the importance of the project and the seeming lack of public concern on invasive species involving forest ecosystems.
This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Asia & Pacific desk
This article is part of a series on invasive species supported by CABI