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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) has recently adopted a 10-year National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan (NISSAP) to address the threats of invasive alien species (IAS) to Philippine biodiversity. The timeline of the plan spans from 2020 to 2030.

“Invasive alien species is seen as one of the causes of biodiversity loss. The crafting of this 10 year strategy and action plan is a great stride towards addressing the threats of IAS not only to biodiversity but also to human health, agriculture and fisheries industry,” says DENR R8 Regional Executive Director, Tirso P. Parian, Jr.

The DENR, through the Biodiversity and Management Bureau (BMB), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) shall undertake capacity building for field offices and other relevant agencies, coordinate the conduct of surveys and researches, undertake public awareness campaigns and develop specific policy guidelines to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

The NISSAP provides nine (9) strategic goals towards a holistic, collaborative and multi-sectoral approach in managing the risks of IAS. These are: (1) leadership and coordination; (2) prevention; (3) early detection and rapid response; (4) control and management; (5) restoration; (6) research and information management; (7) education and public awareness; (8) international cooperation; and (9) training needs.

For Eastern Visayas, “We are only in the stage of education and awareness for our technical personnel through a series of webinars introduced by the BMB to increase their awareness and understanding about IAS”, says Development Management Officer, Ms. Ingelina Lantajo.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) defines IAS as exotic species whose introduction outside of their natural distribution threatens biodiversity because of their ability to produce viable populations, spread and colonize natural ecosystems. They can be introduced plants, animals, pathogens, and other organisms which may cause negative effects on the economy, environment and human health.