Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 6. Reduce rates of introduction and establishment of invasive alien species by 50 per cent

Eliminate, minimize, reduce and or mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services by identifying and managing pathways of the introduction of alien species, preventing the introduction and establishment of priority invasive alien species, reducing the rates of introduction and establishment of other known or potential invasive alien species by at least 50 per cent by 2030, and eradicating or controlling invasive alien species, especially in priority sites, such as islands

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 6

Invasive alien species are one of the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss. In some ecosystems, such as islands, invasive alien species are the leading cause of biodiversity decline. Invasive alien species affect biodiversity by competing with native species for resources, by direct predation or by introducing pathogens. They also modify the composition and structure of ecosystems, reducing the services they provide. In addition to their environmental impacts, invasive alien species pose a threat to food security, human health and economic activities. Globalization and an associated increase in human-mediated activities, such as international transport, trade and tourism, have made the movement of species beyond natural bio-geographical barriers easier and quicker, by creating new introduction pathways. Due to the wide and crosscutting impacts of IAS, including environmental, economic, health, social and cultural impacts, it is necessary to strengthen collaboration across sectors and government agencies at all levels and areas to ensure that this threat is managed effectively. 

This target focuses on eliminating, minimizing, reducing or mitigating the impacts of invasive alien species in two main ways: (a) by identifying and managing pathways to preventing their introduction and establishment and (b) by eradicating or controlling invasive alien species that have been introduced and established. To accomplish this, the target identifies a set of elements that need to be considered:

  • Invasive alien species – Invasive alien species are alien species (introduced outside their natural ranges) that threaten biological diversity and ecosystem integrity. Species in all taxonomic groups and from all types of ecosystems have the potential to become invasive. While a small percentage of alien species become invasive, their negative impacts can be severe. These often go beyond environmental changes and affect economic activities, food security, health or social and cultural values. This target calls for these impacts to be eliminated, minimized, reduced or mitigated.
  • Pathways are identified and managed – Pathways, are the means by which alien species are introduced to new environments. Depending on the ecosystem, there are likely to be a number of different pathways for the introduction of alien species. Pathways can be intentional (through different human-related activities) or accidental, such as escapes, contaminants or hitchhikers. Major pathways will vary between countries and will need to be identified in order to be effectively managed.
  • Preventing introduction and establishment – Preventing the introduction of an invasive alien species is more cost effective then eradicating it once it has become established. Conducting a risk analysis prior to the introduction of an alien species as well as enhancing border controls and quarantine, early warning mechanisms, rapid response measures and management plans are the types of actions that could be taken to help prevent the establishment of alien species.
  • Prioritization  In most countries, there are likely to be several invasive alien species, multiple pathways of introduction and several sites that require protection. Given the limited resources that exist to address this threat and the timeframe for the implementation of the Framework, Parties will need to prioritize the pathways, sites and invasive alien species they wish to address.
  • Eradicating or controlling – Once an invasive alien species has been identified and prioritized, and priority sites defined, countries will need to determine management actions. Whether an invasive alien species is eradicated or controlled will depend on a number of factors, including the species being considered, the ecosystem it is affecting, and the magnitude of its impacts. This requires a case-by-case process, taking into account different methodologies (modern innovative tools as well as traditional approaches). In most cases a combination of methods will likely be required, and the most effective control or eradication method will depend on the type of invasive alien species and the ecosystem in which it is found.

  • Actions to reach Target 6 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
  • Progress towards this target will help to reach Goal A of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. In addition, progress towards this target will help to address Target 4 and, depending on the sites and pathways prioritized, could also help to reach targets 2310, and 12. Conversely progress towards targets 1,141719202122 and 23 could help in reaching this target.
  • Target 6 addresses issues previously addressed under Aichi Biodiversity Target 9
  • Elements of Target 6 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Target 15.8 

  • Which invasive alien species are currently in the country? What ecosystems are they affecting and how? Which species are having the greatest impact? Are they affecting human health, food production and/or the economy?
  • What are the main pathways for the introduction of invasive alien species in the country? What border control and quarantine measures are in place?
  • What measures are in place to assess and monitor the risks of introduction? How effective have these been? How could their effectiveness be improved? What lessons have been learned from their implementation?
  • What measures are in place in your country to prevent, manage, control and eradicate invasive alien species the introduction of invasive alien species? How effective have these been? How could their effectiveness be improved? What lessons have been learned from their implementation?
  • What coordination and collaboration mechanisms are in place to address invasive alien species? How effective have these been? How could their effectiveness be improved?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints for preventing the introduction of, controlling or eradicating invasive alien species and managing their pathways? What programmes or initiatives could be further built on?
  • What are the potential ecological, economic and social opportunities and constraints in taking action towards this target? Who are the actors that may be affected? How can they be involved and their needs addressed? What are the trade-offs to consider?
  • What additional resources (financial, human and technical) will be required to address this target? How can additional resources be raised? What are possible sources?

The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators for this target:

Headline indicators:

  • 6.1 Rate of invasive alien species establishment

Component indicators:

  • Rate of invasive species impact and rate of impact
  • Rate of invasive alien species spread
  • Number of invasive alien species introduction events

Complementary indicators:

  • Number of invasive alien species on national lists as per the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species
  • Trends in abundance, temporal occurrence and spatial distribution of non-indigenous species, particularly invasive, non-indigenous species, notably in risk areas (in relation to the main vectors and pathways of spreading of such species)
  • Red List Index (impacts of invasive alien species)

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5