Tools - Legal and legislative tools

A Guide to Designing Legal and Institutional Frameworks on Alien Invasive Species. Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 40 IUCN - Environmental Law Centre A Contribution to the Global Invasive Species Programme IUCN - The World Conservation Union.

This Guide aims to provide national policy and lawmakers with practical information and indicators for developing or strengthening legal and institutional frameworks on alien invasive species, consistently with Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other international and regional instruments.

AGIS Weeds and Invasive Plants

This website contains a range of resources on invasive alien plants in South Africa, including the SAPIA (South Africa Plant Invader Atlas) database where users can search for alien plants by common name, scientific name, family or growth form. Species fact sheets contain information on invader category according to South African legislation, area of origin, ecology and habitat, threats and impacts, as well as possible control methods. Pictures are also available for idenfification purposes. Apart from the database, the site also contains reports on invasive plants, SAPIA newsletters, a glossary and legislation information, which includes problem plant categories in South Africa. The next most comprehensive catalogue of naturalized alien species is that contained in the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA) database which is accessible at this website. The SAPIA database currently contains 550 species, of which 250 are not listed by Wells et al. Not all of these species have become truly naturalized; some are occasional garden escapes that require considerable disturbance to become established. However they are all regarded as worthy of listing as they could become the invaders of the future. All the species in the SAPIA database have been recorded in natural or disturbed sites, excluding cultivated lands. At least 200 species are regarded as important and potentially important invaders and have been classified as 'Transformers', 'Potential transformers' and 'Special effect weeds'. See glossary for definitions.

The SAPIA database was identified at a workshop organized by the National Department of Agriculture in October 1998, in Pretoria, as the starting point for the development of a national information system for the management of alien invasive plants in South Africa. The Weeds and Invasive Plants website has been designed to fulfill this objective.

Alien species in aquiculture. considerations for responsible use. Hewitt C.L., Campbell M.L. & Gollasch S. 2006 IUCN, Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, UK 32pp.

This publication aims to first provide decision makers and managers with information on the existing international and regional regulations that address the use of alien species in aquaculture, either directly or indirectly; and three examples of national responses to this issue. The last section of this document provides some considerations and suggestions to be taken into account by decision makers and managers when using -or deciding on the use of- alien species for aquaculture purposes. The considerations put forward here bear in mind the challenges faced by decision makers when reconciling conservation and development needs, and aim to help them find pragmatic solutions to ensure a responsible use of alien species for aquaculture purposes, should they decide to go down that path.

Bird Conservation International

Bird Conservation International is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal that seeks to promote worldwide research and action for the conservation of birds and the habitats upon which they depend. The official journal of BirdLife International, it provides stimulating, international and up-to-date coverage of a broad range of conservation topics, using birds to illuminate wider issues of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable resource use.

CBD - Case Studies on Biodiversity and Impact Assessment

In decision VI/7-A, the Conference of the Parties (COP) endorsed draft guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or processes and in strategic environmental assessment and requested the Executive Secretary to compile and disseminate current experiences in this field. In decision VII/7, the COP urged Parties and other Governments to contribute relevant case-studies as well as experiences in applying the guidelines contained in decision VI/7-A.

Case studies and other relevant information is available in this database. To search the database, please select your criteria in the form below and click on the Go button.

Criteria include Information Type, Programme Areas, Regions, Countries and Keywords.

CBD - Database on ABS Measures

The database on access and benefit-sharing measures includes measures taken by Parties in order to implement the access and benefit-sharing provisions of the Convention. The database covers a broad range of measures such as: national or regional strategies, policies, legislation or regulations. It may also include measures undertaken at the regional, national, sub-national or community level. Moreover, the database provides an overview of the main ABS elements of each regional or national regime when you click on the respective region or country name. The main ABS elements displayed are: ABS national focal point, competent national authority, scope, prior informed consent (PIC) procedures, mutually agreed terms (MATs) including benefit-sharing, compliance mechanisms, traditional knowledge associated to genetic resources and other. Further information on each measure can be obtained by clicking on the title of the measure.

CBD - Liability and Redress, Artical 14.2

The issue of liability and redress in the Convention’s context raises many questions, inter alia: is a liability and redress regime under the Convention appropriate at all? What is damage to biological diversity? How do you calculate adequate monetary compensation if the damage is irreversible and reinstatement impossible? What would restoration look like? Should there be a focus on state responsibility or state liability or both?

Paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the Convention provides that: "the Conference of the Parties shall examine, on the basis of studies to be carried out, the issue of liability and redress, including restoration and compensation, for damage to biological diversity, except where such liability is a purely internal matter. By this, the Convention gives little guidance, but leaves the issue to be decided at a later stage.

CBD - Protected Areas

Protected areas constitute an important stock of natural, cultural and social capital, yielding flows of economically valuable goods and services that benefit society, secure livelihoods, and contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, protected areas are key to buffering unpredictable impacts of impending climate change. The CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas provides a globally-accepted framework for creating comprehensive, effectively managed and sustainably funded national and regional protected area systems around the globe.

Conservation Evidence (database)

Conservation Evidence is a free, authoritative information resource designed to support decisions about how to maintain and restore global biodiversity. It summarises evidence from the scientific literature about the effects of conservation Interventions, such as methods of habitat or species management. The site also produces a open-access journal publishing research and case studies. Search results will provide a list of studies and scientific articles published within Conservation Evidence or in other journals (summaries of articles only).

Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - European Code of Conduct on Zoological Gardens and Aquaria and Invasive Alien Species 2012

Code, rationale and supporting information behind the development of codes of practise is in line with Aichi Target 9 of the Strategic Plan for biodiversity 2011–2020 after their adoption during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10, which took place in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in October 2010).

ECOLEX as a gateway to biodiversity-related law

ECOLEX, the Gateway to Environmental Law, is a web-based information service operated jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environmental Program (UNEP). ECOLEX is the most comprehensive global source of national and international environmental and natural resources law and policy. The ECOLEX user can access legal and policy instruments - international agreements, legislation, judicial decisions, law and policy literature - relating to ecosystems, species and genetic resources as well as other sectors affecting biodiversity such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining and water. ECOLEX’s four databases can be browsed in two main ways, Simple Searches and Advanced Searches.

ECOLEX: Search results for invasive alien species

The search results yield a comprehensive list of treaties, regulations and other legislative information on invasive alien species worldwide

European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN) -Tools/Services

The website compiles data on invasive species from all linked data providers. The European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN) is an initiative of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and aims to enable easy access to data and information on Alien Species (AS) in Europe from existing on-line databases to assist policy makers and scientists in their efforts to tackle AS invasions.

AS are on the increase worldwide and some of them adapt so successfully to the new environment that they become invasive, threatening local ecosystems, crops and livestock as well as our environmental and social well-being. Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered to be the second leading cause of biodiversity loss, after habitat alteration. Recognising the increasingly serious problem of IAS in Europe, the European Commission is currently working on a dedicated legislative instrument on Invasive Alien Species which is due to be adopted in 2012.


European Commission - Invasive Alien Species information

Information on European Commission projects, assessment of existing policies and Recommendations the Commission is currently working on and the dedicated legislative instrument on Invasive Alien Species which is due to be adopted in 2013.

European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission (EIFAAC)

The mission of EIFAC is to promote the long-term sustainable development, utilization, conservation, restoration and responsible management of European inland fisheries and aquaculture, consistent with the objectives and principles of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other relevant international instruments, and to support sustainable economic, social, and recreational activities towards these goals through:
providing advice, information and coordination;
encouraging enhanced stakeholder participation and communication; and
the delivery of effective research.

European network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS)

NOBANIS is a gateway to information on alien and invasive species in North and Central Europe. It covers marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments and provides: a distributed but integrated database on introduced species in the region; fact sheets on many of the most invasive aliens; a catalogue of the regulation relevant to invasive species in participating countries; a literature database; a photo bank; connects to regional and global networks and projects of invasive aliens species.

Exotic Species in Guatemala

The national biodiversity portal of Guatemala. With consultation and publication of information relating to biodiversity and related topics. This includes an overview of invasive Alien Species

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, 2013. Introduction of species

This site provies information on the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of species introductions in aquatic ecosystems. Information on legal instruments and codes of practice on the use of introduced species is also available.

GISP Guidelines & Toolkits

The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) produced best practices, toolkits and guidelines for policy makers. These include Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Marine Biofouling and Invasive Species; A Toolkit for the Economic Analysis of Invasive Species; A Toolkit for Developing Legal and Institutional Frameworks for Invasive Alien Species; Best Practice for the Management of Introduced Marine Pests - A Review; Invasive Alien Species: A Toolkit for Best Prevention and Management Practices; A Guide to Designing Legal and Institutional Frameworks on Alien Invasive Species; and Best Management Practices for Preventing and Controlling Invasive Alien Species.


Invasive aquatic species are one of the four greatest threats to the world's oceans, and can cause extremely severe environmental, economic and public health impacts.The GEF/UNDP/IMO Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast) is assisting developing countries to; reduce the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships' ballast water, implement the IMO ballast water Guidelines and prepare for the new IMO ballast water Convention.

Guía para la elaboración de marcos jurídicos e institucionales relativos a las especies exóticas invasoras

A guide to designing legal and institutional frameworks on alien invasive species

Guidelines for a Phytosanitary Import Regulatory System

This standard describes the structure and operation of a phytosanitary import regulatory system and the rights, obligations and responsibilities which should be considered in establishing, operating and revising the system. In this standard any reference to legislation, regulation, procedure, measure or action is a reference to phytosanitary legislation, regulation etc. unless otherwise specified.

Guidelines for national ballast water status : assessments (Arabic version)

This document provides guidelines and advice for national administrations through the processes of evaluating and preparing for the implementation of ballast water management measures.

Guidelines for national ballast water status : assessments (Russian version)

This document provides guidelines and advice for national administrations through the processes of evaluating and preparing for the implementation of ballast water management measures.

International ocean governance : using international law and organizations to manage marine resources sustainably

This report evaluates the effectiveness of international agreements and organizations and recommends numerous improvements. It includes a series of tables and maps, which can be easily updated. The tables present a problem-oriented summary of global and regional legal instruments and an indication of the scientific, technical, and legal guidance offered by international bodies. The maps demonstrate geographic relationships in eight ocean regions -- among regional marine and regional fisheries conventions, large marine ecosystems, major river basins, marine protected areas, and national jurisdiction.

International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) - Standards

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). These are the standards adopted by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), which is the governing body of the IPPC. The IPPC is the only standard setting organization for plant health. In addition, these standards, guidelines and recommendations are recognized as the basis for phytosanitary measures applied in trade by the Members of the World Trade Organization under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). Both contracting and non-contracting parties to the IPPC are encouraged to implement these standards. Standards in themselves are not regulatory instruments but come into force once countries establish requirements within their national legislation. Requests for specific information on import requirements should be addressed to the national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) of the country of import.

Invasive Alien Species - Tematea

The module is a tool that offers a logical framework of obligations and commitments from regional and global biodiversity agreements, which encompass issues of invasive alien species. This is based on current articles, decisions, recommendations and conclusions from a range of agreements on issues that are significant for biodiversity. Modules are also supported at country level. Invasive alien species (IAS) are non-native species that are introduced deliberately or unintentionally in areas outside their natural habitats, where they become established, proliferate and spread, causing damage to the environment. Implementation requirements from multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) focus on the prevention of the introduction of IAS and the control and eradication of those IAS, which nonetheless become established to threaten ecosystems, habitats or native species that may be endangered. The module is divided into seven sections: Assessments: including risk assessment, impact assessment, presence of IAS, identification, reporting and indicators. Legislative measures and national policies: including national strategies. Management: including the prevention and eradication of IAS, rehabilitation and restoration, and other non-legislative approaches. Economic instruments: including incentives Provision of resources: including funding activities and capacity building. Communication, education and public awareness: including training Cooperation: including coordination across sectors "

Invasive Species and Poverty: Exploring the links. Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) 2007.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was conducted between 2001 and 2005 to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being, and to analyse options available to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being. Carried out by some 1360 experts from 95 countries, it developed four global scenarios exploring plausible future changes in drivers, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human well-being. It also examined the strengths and weaknesses of various response options that have been used to manage ecosystem services, and identified promising opportunities for enhancing human well-being while conserving ecosystems.

La gobernanza internacional del océano : el uso del derecho internacional y las organizaciones para manejar los recursos marinos de manera sostenible -

This report evaluates the effectiveness of international agreements and organizations and recommends numerous improvements. It includes a series of tables and maps, which can be easily updated. The tables present a problem-oriented summary of global and regional legal instruments and an indication of the scientific, technical, and legal guidance offered by international bodies. The maps demonstrate geographic relationships in eight ocean regions -- among regional marine and regional fisheries conventions, large marine ecosystems, major river basins, marine protected areas, and national jurisdiction.

National and Regional Legislation for promotion and Support to the Prevention, Control, and Eradication of Invasive Species. Young, T.R. 2006. Paper No. 108, Environment Papers, The World Bank.

The object of this paper is to begin to develop a frame of reference for legal and administrative understanding of the range of invasives issues and possible governmental responses. While it cannot be completely comprehensive, it has sought to evaluate a wide range of national, subnational, and supranational legislation. The work is predominantly a ‘desk study’ (calling for no national visits, interviews or other on-theground evaluation), however, it is informed by the author’s prior experience as well as some ‘opportunistic’ interviews with national legislators and implementing offi cials dealing with invasive species.

Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests

The standard provides details for the conduct of pest risk analysis (PRA) to determine if pests are quarantine pests. It describes the integrated processes to be used for risk assessment as well as the selection of risk management options. S1 It also includes details regarding the analysis of risks of plant pests to the environment and biological diversity, including those risks affecting uncultivated/unmanaged plants, wild flora, habitats and ecosystems contained in the PRA area. Some explanatory comments on the scope of the IPPC in regard to environmental risks are given in Annex 1. S2 It includes guidance on evaluating potential phytosanitary risks to plants and plant products posed by living modified organisms (LMOs). This guidance does not alter the scope of ISPM No. 11 but is intended to clarify issues related to the PRA for LMOs. Some explanatory comments on the scope of the IPPC in regard to PRA for LMOs are given in Annex

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) - Code of Conduct on Horticulture & Invasive Alien Plants (2011)

This booklet is an abridged version of the Code of Conduct on Horticulture and IAPs for European and Mediterranean Countries produced by The European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) and the Council of Europe (CoE) under the framework of the Bern Convention published in 2009,including information relevant for Malta. It mainly addresses the horticultural sector (including plant and seed introducers/importers, plant nurseries, garden centres) and those entities engaged in landscaping and afforestation.

WTO/STDF - How to notify re SPS measures, including invasives

Information on how to notify SPS measures, including those related to IAS, is available here.

WTO/STDF - Sanitary and Phytosanitary gateway

Since the SPS Agreement applies to most (if not all) trade-related measures taken to regulate IAS, this could be useful, although it is general and not specifically focused on IAS.

WTO/STDF - SPS Information Management System (SPS IMS)

The SPS Information Management System (SPS IMS) is a database that allows searching for SPS-related information available at the WTO, including general documents for example on country's pest- or disease situations, notifications of trade measures, and specific trade concerns raised in the SPS Committee.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith