March 2 – 4, 2015 | Leipzig, Germany

Invasive alien species of animals, fungi and plants cost the taxpayer billions each year. There is a large awareness that monitoring alien species movements and geography is essential for understanding and tracking global change consequences. There is currently no system in place for the systematic evaluation and monitoring of invasive alien species. The variables and metrics for doing so in a standardized way (necessary to underpin a robust observation system) have not been fully developed, widely agreed to, or adopted.

To improve knowledge and information in this field, GEO BON and iDiv, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, organized a workshop in Leipzig in close cooperation with Melodie McGeoch (Monash University, Australia) and Piero Genovesi (IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group). From 2nd – 4th March 2015, 22 high level scientists and representatives from 14 countries came together with international policy experts Myriam DuMortier from the European Commission, Craig Hilton-Taylor from the IUCN SSC Red List Unit, Nick Holmes from Island Conservation, Sean Murphy from CABI, Jon Paul Rodriguez IUCN SSC and Junko Shimura from the Convention of Biological Diversity.

During the workshop, the experts worked out a first set of variables to define a minimum information set to capture the major dimensions of biological invasion as a driver of biodiversity change. There was a strong focus not only on the spread and impacts of alien invasive species but also on monitoring the pathways of invasion. These EBV’s will support not only national governments but also the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the regional assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).