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BESAFE carries out 12 single case studies addressing different issues areas related to biodiversity protection. This set of deep case studies covers different member states and geographical regions as well as various governance scales, stakeholder groups and their interaction. Overall, the case studies comprehensively explore the argumentation processes in the biodiversity-related policy making and provide knowledge on the transferability of arguments between the major governance levels.

Invasive species strategies; Germany


Invasive alien species (IAS) are often regarded as one of the major threats to biodiversity (Wilcove et al., 1998, Clavero and García-Berthou, 2005). This claim, however, is repeatedly contested (Sagoff, 2005, Warren, 2007). This debate has arisen because the ecology of (potentially) invasive species is still poorly understood (Williamson, 1999, Angert et al., 2011), and because there are great differences in value assumptions underlying the judgment of a certain alien species as beneficial or detrimental (e.g.,Sagoff, 2005, Simberloff, 2005).
The CBD (Art. 8h) aims “to prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species”. This was taken up by the Commission of the European Commission which published in 2008 the Communication “Towards an EU Strategy on Invasive Species”. The Environment Council (2009) and the recently adopted EU Biodiversity Strategy (European Commission2011) called for a legislative instrument to put into effect a EU strategy on invasive alien species (IAS). Although the Council of Europe published a European Strategy on invasive alien species in 2011 (Genovesi and Shine, 2011), a legal implementation is still vigorously debated. As in the general discussion on invasive alien species, we assume that biodiversity-related worldviews and values will be expressed in a range of arguments for or against any particular policy on invasive alien species.

Brief description of the policy problem
In this case study we analyse the arguments used for and against the implementation of a strategy on invasive alien species in European law, against the background of the discourse on invasive alien species and existing values for biodiversity. Further, we analyse how the policy on invasive alien species is implemented on a national level, investigating national strategies on invasive alien species in Belgium, Germany, and Hungary.

Stages in the policy cycle
The case study addresses all stages of the policy cycle. It refers to problem-framing and goal-setting, considering evaluation of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and broad management goals as the basis of a strategy on IAS. It addresses policy implementation through analysis of legislation relating to objectives regarding IAS. Finally, it considers how conservation outcomes play a major role in selecting feasible management measures for achieving management goals.

Main stakeholders involved
On the European level, we plan to involve the Directorate-General for the Environment. Other actors who work on the implementation of the European Strategy on IAS will be involved where possible. On the national level we aim to obtain information from the Federal State administration and the Regions (Flanders, Brussels Capital, Wallonia) which have different competencies in acting against IAS. Another important actor in the National Strategy against IAS is the forum “Invasive Alien Species in Belgium”. In Germany, invaluable contributions can be provided by the National Ministry of Environment and the Federal and Regional Agencies for Nature Conservation. In Hungary, we plan to involve the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Parks and the National Society of Conservationists. Further, for a specific invasive alien species, common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) we will approach the Ministry for Human Health, the Ministry of Local Government and the Institute of Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing which runs the Hungarian Ambrosia Information System, and finally the Aerobiological Network of the Hungarian National Public Health Service which is responsible for pollen mapping.

Partner responsible
Department of Conservation Biology
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15 / D-04318 Leipzig / Germany

Contact person
Prof. Dr. Kurt Jax
Department of Conservation Biology
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15 / D-04318 Leipzig / Germany
Tel.: ++49(0)341 / 235-1648 (direct line) or 235-1270 (secretariat)
Fax: ++49 (0)341 / 235-1470
kurt.jax [at] ufz.de

Image copyright of Ulrich Heink©

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