Foundations

The intentional and unintentional transfer of species from one water body to another around the world has boomed in recent decades. Many seas and regions have been invaded by a high number of non-native species. Some of these species thrive in their new habitats, out-competing native species and changing

The importance of natural resources to the economy of the Pacific island region cannot be overstated. Island communities have unsurprisingly relied heavily on ocean resources for sustenance and economic activities, such as fishing and transport. Land-based resources are also vital at subsistence level, and are providing increasing development opportunities, for example through forestry and mineral mining.

Invasive species are a major global threat to biodiversity and Pacific Islands are particularly vulnerable due to their isolation and relatively recent human occupation. Their native species often cannot cope with predation or competition from new arrivals. Niue already suffers from the impact of invasive species that have arrive in the country. However there are many more devastating species that are not present but found in other countries of the region and every effort needs to be made to prevent their arrivals.

National or Territory Invasive Species Strategies and Action Plans (NISSAP) are a critical document to ensure invasive species management is coordinated within a country or territory and that the different sectors involved with invasive species management are working together toward the same goals. NISSAP are essential to show political will for managing invasive species and are looked upon favourably by funding bodies.

The invasive battler has a difficult job. Many of the management solutions for invasive species require a broad base of information to determine the best way to approach an issue and determine if the approach is feasible. Likely questions a battler will face are: what is that species? How did it get here and where will it go next? Is it a risk to our environment or other important national asset? Where else is this species found and what did they do about it?