Executive Order 13112 calls for both ecosystem-level coordination and international cooperation. The Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region directs the Federal government to “develop, implement, and maintain an international invasive species prevention and management plan.” The NISC Secretariat is currently working with international partners to develop the Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS) Strategy and Action Plan called for in the 2016-2018 NISC Management Plan.
Action 2.6: Under the auspices of the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Invasive Species Working Group, work with international partners to develop a strategy and action plan for the prevention and management of invasive species across the Arctic region.
The project is being accomplished under the guidance of the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working groups. Representatives of the NISC Secretariat, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of State, as well as a PAME representative based at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, serve on the project Steering Committee.
This effort is particularly urgent for the Arctic region. Rapid climate change is making the region more vulnerable to invasive species introductions, and at the same time a rapid increase in human activity and transit and energy development in the region is increasing the chance of introduction of new and invasive species. There is an immediate opportunity, already largely lost in many other regions of the world, to proactively build resilience to the risks posed by invasive species to the Arctic’s unique social, economic, and environmental systems.