Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

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Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

182 E Diversity of landscapes and ecosystems

2. Convention on the Conservation of European

Wildlife and Natural Habitats: the Convention

signed in Bern in 1979, which despite its name is

not restricted to Europe but also open to other

countries, is for the worldwide protection of wild

plants and animals and their habitats. To this end,

every Party is obliged (Article 11 II lit. a) ‘to

encourage the reintroduction of native species of

wild flora and fauna when this would contribute to

the conservation of an endangered species, provided

that a study is first made in the light of the

experiences of other Parties to the Convention, to

establish that such reintroduction would be effective

and acceptable’.

3. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,

UNCLOS: this convention was agreed in 1982; it

requires all Parties to take all necessary measures

to prevent, reduce and control the intentional and

accidental introduction of alien or new species

(Article 196 I). This clause includes genetically

modified organisms. There is also a call for the

development of methods to prevent migrations

and to research control methods. This Convention

provides the basis under international law to

effectively counteract marine invasions, eg for

regulations concerning ballast water (IMO guideline,

cf Box E 3.6-1) or aquaculture (OTA, 1993).

4. Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD: Within

the CBD there are provisions for effectively combating

the introduction of alien species (Article 8

lit. h; Section I 4). Here, the Parties undertake ‘as

far as possible and as appropriate, to prevent the

introduction of those alien species which threaten

ecosystems, habitats or species and to control or

eradicate these species’. The Parties are developing

strategies for this. Some states are revising

their quarantine provisions and practices and have

introduced controls that take account both of the

deliberate and accidental introduction of alien

species. One area of focus is on the public relations

work relating to this issue.

Within Europe, the following regulations are significant:

the Convention on the Protection of the Alps,

and within the EU the Habitats Directive and the

Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.

At the political level the ratification of the abovementioned

agreements in 1996 was followed by international

conferences, such as the Norway/UN Conference

on Alien Species in Trondheim and the

OECD Workshop on the Ecology of Introduced,

Exotic Wildlife: Fundamental and Economic Aspects

in Ammarnäs/Sweden. Since 1996 the Scientific

Committee on Problems of the Environment

(SCOPE) has been working with UNEP, IUCN,

UNESCO and the International Institute of Biological

Control within the context of the Global Invasive

Species Program (GISP) on a global strategy for

dealing with alien species. In addition to a plan of

action, this programme also contains clear, fundamental

declarations of intent that underline the

urgency for action (Mooney, 1996).As a supplement,

further guidelines have been drawn up by the IUCN

Invasive Species Group (ISSG) (Clout and Lowe,

1996). Furthermore, the COP of the CBD commissioned

its Subsidiary Body on Scientific Technical

and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to elaborate

recommendations for action on preventing the

impact of alien species. An item on the agenda of the

4th meeting of the SBSTTA (SBSTTA-IV) in June

1999 determined the most important measures for

geographically and evolutionary isolated ecosystems

and, after evaluation by the GISP, also made proposals

for the further development of this programme

(SBSTTA-IV, 1999). In future, the Secretariat of the

CBD will cooperate on these items with the abovementioned

organizations, which have developed recommendations

for dealings with alien species. Important

elements of the recommendations are dealt with

in Section E 3.6.5.

E 3.6.4

Examples of national legislation

In Germany there is a central provision on the treatment

of alien species in the Federal Nature Conservation

Act (Article 20 d II). But this regulation is not

definitive. On the one hand, this is due to the division

of legislative action between the Federal Government

and the federal states; on the other hand regulations

can be found within specific legal provision

(genetic engineering, animal protection, fisheries on

the open seas and coastal fisheries, navigation)

(Ginzky, 1998). Above and beyond this, there are

insufficient regulations in the following areas

(Fisahn, 1999):

• Although the deliberate and intentional export of

alien organisms is prohibited or subject to licensing,

there are no regulations for accidental introduction.

• There are exceptions to the limits on exporting

alien organisms for agriculture and forestry.

• In German legislation to date the regulations

apply almost exclusively to animals and plants.

However, microorganisms are not expressly considered.

In New Zealand the environment, health and safety

are defined as assets to be protected under the Biosecurity

Act of 1993 and the Hazardous Substances and

New Organisms Act of 1996.The import, breeding or

release of alien organisms are prohibited and are

subject to licensing. The term ‘new organisms’ covers

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