Core team member: Sabrina Kumschick
There have been major developments recently towards an international standard system for reporting the impacts of biological invasions, but these are yet to be implemented or integrated with risk analyses. In particular, a framework for the listing of alien taxa under regulations has recently been developed for South Africa. Cut-off levels to determine if a taxon is of low or high risk need to be defined, and the scheme calibrated and thoroughly tested to assure accuracy of conclusions drawn. The proposed risk analysis framework relies on impact scoring schemes like the Environmental Impact Classification of Alien Taxa (EICAT) and its socio-economic equivalent, SEICAT. But it is not yet clear how feasible it is to use EICAT and SEICAT for reporting on the status of invasive species and facilitating their management. To do this will likely require both substantial theoretical and practical developments. Finally, while the majority of schemes in risk analysis have focussed on species, effective management of biological invasions should also consider pathways. There is a need both to develop the scientific basis for such risk analyses and also to directly influence policy and practice in South Africa.
Dr Sabrina Kumschick
021 808 3413