The need to identify and manage pathways
Humans have transported alien species for centuries, but the steady increase of global trade in the last decades has increased the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, which pose a threat to biodiversity.
It is clear that the different mechanisms through which alien species are introduced in a new place play a fundamental role in the subsequent probability of biological invasion. It is therefore very important to consider the "introduction pathways" which are essential for predicting future species’ trends and identifying management options.
A standardized pathway terminology and classification was first proposed by Hulme and colleagues and reviewed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), resulting in a unified system to categorize introduction pathways of IAS, incorporated in EASIN Catalogue of alien species.
The European Commission, through the EU Regulation 1143/2014, aims to manage invasive alien species of community importance, preventing their introduction and further spread, supporting early detection and rapid response at European level. Towards these objectives, numerous restrictions regulate the intentional introduction of these species (Article 7 of the EU Regulation).
According to Article 13(1)(2) of the EU Regulation, each Member State shall identify pathways and establish and implement one single action plan or a set of action plans to address the priority pathways.
Germany set its first action plan to combat invasive alien species, identifying 14 key pathways and proposing 24 measures, as described in this article. To make the best use of resources and exploit synergies, Germany competent authority decided to develop one single action plan that addresses each prioritized pathway individually, rather than a set of action plans for each of the nineteen affected sectors (such as agriculture, conservation, and transport).
With this action plan, Germany aims also at promoting broader national and European cooperation.