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IPBES Invasive Alien Species Assessment

6th September, 2023 Environment

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  • The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control (known as the “Invasive Alien Species Report”) was released.
  • The Report was approved in Bonn, Germany, by representatives of the 143 member States of IPBES.

The Invasive Alien Species Assessment

  • Assesses the array of invasive alien species that affect biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Analyzes the extent of the threat posed by such species to various categories of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including impacts on agrobiodiversity and food, human health and livelihood security
  • Identifies the major pathways for and drivers of the introduction and spread of such species between and within countries
  • Highlights the global status of and trends in the impacts of invasive alien species and associated management interventions by region and subregion, taking into account various knowledge and value systems
  • Assesses the effectiveness of current international, national and subnational control measures and associated policy options that could be employed to prevent, eradicate and control invasive alien species, with an emphasis on response options


  • More than 37,000 alien species have been introduced by many human activities to regions and biomes around the world.
  • It also reveals that alongside dramatic changes to biodiversity and ecosystems, the global economic cost of invasive alien species exceeded $423 billion annually in 2019, with costs having at least quadrupled every decade since 1970.
  • More than 3,500 of these are harmful invasive alien species – seriously threatening nature, nature’s contributions to people and good quality of life. Too often ignored until it is too late, invasive alien species are a significant challenge to people in all regions and in every country.
  • Invasive alien species are one of the five major direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally, alongside land and sea-use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, and pollution.
  • About 6% of alien plants; 22% of alien invertebrates; 14% of alien vertebrates; and 11% of alien microbes are known to be invasive, posing major risks to nature and to people.
  • People with the greatest direct dependence on nature, such as Indigenous Peoples and local communities, are found to be at even greater risk.
  • More than 2,300 invasive alien species are found on lands under the stewardship of Indigenous Peoples – threatening their quality of life and even cultural identities.
  • Target 6 of the recently adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is to “eliminate, minimize, reduce and or mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services”.
  • The IPBES Invasive Alien Species Assessment responds to the need to support decision-makers in understanding the current status and trends of invasive alien species, their impacts, their drivers, management, and options for policy that effectively deal with the challenges they pose.

By the Numbers – Key Statistics and Facts from the Report


  • >37,000: alien species established worldwide
  • 200: new alien species recorded every year
  • >3,500: invasive alien species recorded globally, including 1,061 plants (6% of all alien plant species), 1,852 invertebrates (22%), 461 vertebrates (14%) and 141 microbes (11%)
  • 37%: proportion of known alien species reported since 1970
  • 36%: anticipated increase in alien species by 2050 compared to 2005, under a “business-as-usual” scenario (assumes past trends in drivers of change continue)
  • >35%: proportion of alien freshwater fish in the Mediterranean basin that have arisen from aquaculture


  • 34%: proportion of impacts reported in the Americas (31% Europe and Central Asia; 25% Asia Pacific; 7% Africa
  • 75%: impacts reported in the terrestrial realm (mostly in temperate and boreal forests and woodlands and cultivated areas)
  • 14%: proportion of impacts reported in freshwater ecosystems 
  • 10%: proportion of impacts reported in the marine realm
  • 60%: proportion of recorded global extinctions to which invasive alien species have contributed
  • 16%: proportion of recorded global extinctions in which invasive alien species have been the sole driver
  • 1,215: local extinctions of native species caused by 218 invasive alien species (32.4% were invertebrates, 50.9% vertebrates, 15.4% plants, 1.2% microbes)
  • 27%: invasive alien species impacts on native species through ecosystem properties changes (24% through interspecific competition; 18% through predation; 12% through herbivory)
  • 90%: global extinctions on islands attributed mainly to invasive alien species
  • >$423 billion: estimated annual economic cost of biological invasions, 2019
  • 92%: proportion of economic costs of biological invasions attributed to invasive alien species damaging nature’s contributions to people and good quality of life (with the remaining 8% of costs related to biological invasion management)
  • >2,300: invasive alien species documented on lands managed, used and/or owned by Indigenous Peoples
  • 4x: rise in the economic cost of biological invasions in every decade since 1970.

Policy and Management

  • 80% (156 out of 196): countries with targets in National Biodiversity Strategies and action plans for managing biological invasions
  • >200%: increase in the last decade in the number of countries with national invasive alien species checklists, including databases (196 countries in 2022)
  • 83%: countries without specific national legislation or regulations on invasive alien species
  • 88%: success rate of eradication programmes (1,550) conducted on 998 islands
  • >60%: success rates of biological control programs for invasive alien plants and invertebrates   


The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is an outcome of the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference. Its tentative title had been the "Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework". The GBF was adopted by the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 19 December 2022. It has been promoted as a "Paris Agreement for Nature". It is one of a handful of agreements under the auspices of the CBD, and it is the most significant to date. It has been hailed as a "huge, historic moment" and a "major win for our planet and for all of humanity


The GBF contains 4 Global Goals ("Kunming-Montreal Global Goals for 2050") and 23 targets ("Kunming-Montreal 2030 Global Targets"). "Target 3" is especially referred to as the "30 by 30" target. It succeeds the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets). It specifies that countries must stop subsidizing activities that destroy wilderness, such as mining and industrial fishing.

 The Four Goals are:

1.The integrity, resilience, and connectivity of ecosystems is maintained, enhanced, or restored, substantially increasing the area of natural ecosystems by 2050, and the human-induced extinction of threatened species is halted, and that by 2050, extinction rate and risk of all species are reduced tenfold, and the abundance of native wild species is increased to healthy and resilient levels; and that the genetic diversity within populations of wild and domesticated species,is maintained, safeguarding their adaptive potential.

2.Biodiversity is sustainably used and managed and nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services, are valued, maintained and enhanced, with those currently in decline being restored, supporting the achievement of sustainable development, for the benefit of present and future generations by 2050.

3.The monetary and non-monetary benefits from the utilization of genetic resources, and digital sequence information on genetic resources, and of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, as applicable, are shared fairly and equitably, including, as appropriate with indigenous peoples and local communities, and substantially increased by 2050, while ensuring traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is appropriately protected, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, in accordance with internationally agreed access and benefit-sharing instruments

4. Adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation, and access to and transfer of technology to fully implement the Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity framework are secured and equitably accessible to all Parties, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, progressively closing the biodiversity finance gap of $700 billion per year, and aligning financial flows with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. 


The implementation of the GBF will likely lead to the following effects:

  • Mandatory nature-related disclosure of data. Companies will be required to disclose their impacts on biodiversity and the natural world.
  • Increasing nature-positive financial flows. Banks and financial institutions will have to invest in projects that restore nature.
  • Biodiversity targets will form a mandatory part of corporate governance.
  • Central banks and their governing institutions will need to address the risks stemming from nature loss as a core part of their mandates.
  • The GBF will enable international policy alignment in terms of protecting nature.

The GBF is not a legally binding treaty, but it is expected to have a major impact in countries around the world as they endeavor to meet their targets, through the development of new plans and regulations. For example, protected areas will be expanded and subsidies for ecologically destructive activities such as fishing will have to be redirected.


Q. Consider the following statements with reference to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

1.The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is an outcome of the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference.

2.The GBF is a legally binding treaty.

3.It succeeds the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets).

4.It specifies that countries must stop subsidizing activities that destroy wilderness, such as mining and industrial fishing.

How many of the above statements are correct?

A) Only 1

B) Only 2

C) Only 3

D) All

Answer: C) Only 3. Statement 2 is incorrect.