A plan for the eradication of invasive alien species from Arctic islands

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A plan for the eradication of invasive alien species from Arctic islands

Invasive alien species represent one of the most significant threats to Arctic ecosystems and their inhabitants. Rapidly changing environmental conditions and a growing interest in resource extraction, settlement and tourism make the Arctic region particularly vulnerable to biological invasion. For this reason, invasive alien species are of substantial concern to the Arctic Council, a multi-national body comprised of Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, as well as six international organisations that represent Arctic indigenous peoples as Permanent Participants. The Arctic Council’s Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS) Strategy and Action Plan includes the priority to: “actively facilitate the eradication of invasive alien species from island ecosystems throughout the Arctic, as well as the recovery of native island species and habitats that have been impacted by invasive alien species.” A multi-national team of governmental and non-government partners is collaborating in the development of an action plan (hereafter ‘islands plan’) for the eradication of invasive alien species from Arctic island ecosystems. The intent of the plan is to provide a vision and strategy for a region-wide approach to the eradication of island invasive alien species as a multi-national commitment. The islands plan will set forth a strategy for prioritising island eradications consistent with the growing pressures on ecological and cultural systems. We have a unique opportunity in the Arctic to take decisive action to prevent and mitigate the adverse impacts of invasive alien species that plague much of the rest of the world. The eradication of invasive alien species from islands in other parts of the world provides useful insights into best practices, including approaches to prioritisation and cost-effectiveness.

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