Launch of Invasive Species Week
Invasive Species week was this morning (Friday 23 March 2018) launched by Environment Ministers at their British Irish Council (BIC) Ministerial meeting in Dublin. Ireland was represented at the launch by Minister Denis Naughten, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister stated: “Invasive alien species impact numerous areas of our daily lives such as health care and animal health, crop yields, damage to infrastructure, damage to the navigability of rivers, and damage to protected species. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure we take all appropriate steps to minimise their spread.”
The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of invasive non-native species (commonly known as invasive alien species in Ireland and other countries) which are one of the major causes of biodiversity loss and can also cause significant damage to human health and the economy. The cost to the European economy is estimated to be at least €12 billion per year.
In Ireland, this year’s week will see events taking place to specifically raise awareness around the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ initiative for those taking part in water-based activities, and ‘Be Plant Wise’, for those with an interest in gardening and plants.
Speaking ahead of the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ event during the week, Minister Madigan highlighted its importance: “As we head into the Easter break, people all over the country will be taking the opportunity to travel and make use of the many of our wonderful water based amenities. One of the purposes of Invasive Species Week, and ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ in particular, is to make sure that we can leave these amenities for future generations to also enjoy. By stopping the spread of invasive species, we can ensure that, for example, riverbanks are not damaged, and native crayfish do not suffer from an imported plague.”