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NEOBIOTA board urges the EU to increase the number of species included in its Invasive Alien Species (IAS) list


15 Sep 2016


Climate & Environment

Today at the NEOBIOTA 2016, the 9th International Conference on Biological Invasions, the Board of NEOBIOTA adopted a resolution on the EU invasive alien species regulation. The resolution “The Time for Action is NOW!” calls for an effective implementation of the EU IAS regulation, in particular by increasing the number of species included in the “List of invasive alien species of Union concern”.

The EU invasive alien species regulation that came in force in January 2015 currently includes only 37 species in its “List of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern”. However as the NEOBIOTA board highlights there may be up to 1800 invasive alien species present in the EU.

Invasions of alien species annually already cause at least €12.5 billion worth of damage to the European economy. Climate change is highly likely to substantially increase this negative impact of biological invasions.

As the name indicates NEOBIOTA, (neo=new, biota=animal or plant life of a region or habitat), aims to seek a broad perspective, presenting oral and poster presentations on any taxonomic group, from microorganisms to vertebrates, any ecosystem type, and any region of the world.

Montserrat Vilà, President of NEOBIOTA stated: “The research presented at NEOBIOTA 2016 provides yet more evidence that the need for action is now when it comes to invasive alien species.”

Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of Policy at BirdLife Europe and Central Asia stated: “The huge body of science presented at the conference shows the urgency of addressing the ecological havoc wrought by invasive alien species. The Commission’s first black list of 37 species is a step in the right direction but we need much more rapid and comprehensive action.

Invasive alien species are causing massive damage to our economy, the natural world and to people’s health. The free movement of goods means invasive alien species can only be tackled at an EU level. If we are serious about protecting people and the environment, hundreds more species must immediately be listed under the EU invasive alien species regulation”. ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Professor Montserrat Vilà, President of NEOBIOTA and & signatory to the resolution (on behalf of the NEOBIOTA board)
Mobile: +34 608677410

Dr Franz Essl, Vice President of NEOBIOTA
Mobile: +43 676 6091638

Danny Heptinstall, Policy Officer, RSPB (BirdLife in UK)
Mobile: +44 7711 435 791

Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of Policy, BirdLife Europe
Mobile: +32 491 90 46 53




BirdLife Europe Article: We Are Not Alone – Alien Plants & Animals Invade Europe

NEOBIOTA is the European Group on Biological Invasions. It was founded in Berlin 1999 as a consortium of scientists and environmental managers aiming to enhance integration of invasion research and strengthen approaches to counteract negative effects of introduced organisms on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health. NEOBIOTA addresses theoretical and applied aspects of biological invasions, but also aims at educating the public and consulting with policy makers. For more information please visit

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totaling 320,000 hectares. For more information please visit


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