A prioritization process for invasive alien plant species incorporating the requirements of EU Regulation no. 1143/2014
When faced with a large species pool of invasive or potentially invasive alien plants, prioritizationis an essential prerequisite for focusing limited resources on species which inflicthigh impacts, have a high rate of spread and can be cost-effectively managed. The prioritizationprocess as detailed within this paper is the first tool to assess species for priority forrisk assessment (RA) in the European Union (EU) specifically designed to incorporate therequirements of EU Regulation no. 1143/2014. The prioritization process can be used forany plant species alien to the EU, whether currently present within the territory or absent.The purpose of the prioritization is to act as a preliminarily evaluation to determine whichspecies have the highest priority for RA at the EU level and may eventually be proposedfor inclusion in the list of invasive alien species of EU concern. The preliminary risk assessmentstage (Stage 1), prioritizes species into one of four lists (EU List of Invasive AlienPlants, EU Observation List of Invasive Alien Plants, EU List of Minor Concern and theResidual List) based on their potential for spread coupled with impacts. The impacts onnative species and ecosystem functions and related ecosystem services are emphasized inline with Article 4.3(c) of the Regulation. Only those species included in the EU List ofInvasive Alien Plants proceed to Stage 2 where potential for further spread and establishmentcoupled with evaluating preventative and management actions is evaluated. The outputof Stage 2 is to prioritize those species which have the highest priority for a RA at the EUlevel or should be considered under national measures which may involve a trade ban, cessationof cultivation, monitoring, control, containment or eradication. When consideringalien plant species for the whole of the EPPO region, or for species under the Plant HealthRegulation, the original EPPO prioritization process for invasive alien plants remains theoptimum tool.
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