GEO BON Workshop Report


Towards a global system for assessing, monitoring and reporting on biological invasions

          2 – 4th March, 2015, Leipzig, Germany

Invasive alien species of animals, fungi and plants cost the taxpayer billions each year. These species are second only to habitat transformation in documented severity of impacts on biodiversity. Species movements beyond their historic distributions will continue, driven largely by increased volumes of trade and increasingly complex trade routes.

There is currently no system in place for the systematic evaluation and monitoring of invasive alien species. To improve knowledge and information in this field, Melodie McGeoch (Monash University, Australia) and Piero Genovesi (IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group) organised a workshop in close collaboration with GEO BON and iDiv. The workshop took place from 2nd to 4th March 2015 in Leipzig, Germany.

22 high level scientists and representatives from 14 countries came together with international policy experts Dr Myriam DuMortier from the European Commission, Dr Craig Hilton-Taylor from the IUCN SSC Red List Unit, Dr Nick Holmes from Island Conservation, Dr Sean Murphy from CABI, Dr Jon Paul Rodriguez IUCN SSC and Dr Junko Shimura from the Convention of Biological Diversity.

The workshop had three main aims: First, to identify and agree on a minimum set of Essential Biodiversity Variables to form the basis of a global observation system for biological invasions. Second, to develop guidelines for national schemes to support impact classification and Aichi Target 9 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020). Third, to progress implementation of the IUCN alien impact classification scheme.

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.The outcomes from this meeting 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).

This workshop is part of the GEO BON and Monash University funded project Black Listing Invasive Species for Monitoring and Reporting.

Geobon workshop

Participants (from left to right): Miguel Fernandez, Guilluame Latombe, Marten Winter, John Wilson, Jan Pergl, Donald Hobern, Petr Pyšek, Jonathan Jeschke, Melodie McGeoch, Tim Blackburn, Sabrina Kumschick, Sven Bacher, Riccardo Scalera, Piero Genovesi, Junko Shimura, César Capinha, Helen Roy, Cang Hui


Project participants 

Name Organisation
Dr Sven Bacher University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Prof. Tim Blackburn Zoological Society of London, London
Dr César Capinha University of Lisbon, Portugal
Assoc. Prof. Mark Costello University of Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Miguel Fernandez Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Germany
Dr Piero Genovesi IUCN ISSG and Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Italy
Dr Richard Gregory RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, United Kingdom
Dr Donald Hobern Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Denmark
Prof. Cang Hui Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Prof. Dr Jonathan Jeschke IGB, Germany
Dr Walter Jetz Yale University, USA
Dr Sabrina Kumschick Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Dr Guillaume Latombe Monash University, Australia
Assoc. Prof. Melodie McGeoch Monash University, Australia
Dr Jan Pergl Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Dr Petr Pyšek Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Dr Helen Roy Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, United Kingdom
Dr Riccardo Scalera IUCN SSC ISSG, Italy
Dr John Wilson Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Dr Marten Winter Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Germany

Stakeholders and GEO BON participants

Name Organisation
Dr Myriam DuMortier European Commission, Belgium
Dr Jörg Freyhof Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Germany
Dr Craig Hilton-Taylor IUCN SSC Red List Unit, United Kingdom
Dr Nick Holmes Island Conservation, USA
Dr Sean Murphy CABI, United Kingdom
Prof. Henrique Pereira Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Germany
Dr Jon Paul Rodriguez IUCN SSC, Venezuela
Dr Junko Shimura CBD, Canada

Programme Overview

Session 1: Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) and Invasion Monitoring

Session 2: EBVs for Invasion Monitoring: Guidelines for implementation

Session 3: Stakeholder Meeting: Development of an IUCN Black Listing Process

Monday 2nd Venue: Biocity Rm, iDiv
9h00-9h30 Welcome and background Melodie McGeoch and GEO BON
SESSION 1 Goal: To identify and develop Essential Biodiversity Variables for invasion monitoring in support of policy and assessment processes   CHAIR: Donald Hobern
Envisaged products from Session 1 and 2:
GEO BON publication (see example)
Journal publication
9h30-10h00 Essential Biodiversity Variables: An introduction and the state of play Henrique Pereira / Miguel Fernandez
10h00-10h30 Prioritisation for Invasion Management and the role of Black Listing Piero Genovesi
10h30-11h00 Alien Species Impact Scheme: Update on current developments of methods Tim Blackburn
11h00-11h30 Tea break
11h30-12h00 Linking Invasive Species Information Systems and Mapping Tools with EBVs, monitoring and Black Listing Donald Hobern
12h00-12h30 Discussion All
12h30-13h30 Lunch
13h30-14h00 EBVs for Invasion Monitoring: Outline of work programme Melodie McGeoch
Venues for working groups: Biocity Rm and Resilience Rm
14h00-15h30 Working groups develop content for   All
Essential Biodiversity Variables for Invasion Monitoring
15h30-16h00 Working group feedback and discussion All
16h00-17h00 Outcomes and product delivery All
Tuesday 3rd Venue: Biocity Rm, iDiv
SESSION 2 Goals: EBVs for invasion monitoring: Sampling and monitoring guidelines Chair: Cang Hui
9h00-9h30 EBVs for invasion monitoring: Synthesis of outcomes from Day 1 Guillaume Latombe
9h30-10h00 General discussion: Development of monitoring guidelines for countries based on EBVs All
Venues for working groups: Biocity Rm and Resilience Rm
10h00-11h00 Working groups to develop guidelines All
11h00-11h30 Tea break
11h30-12h30 Working groups to develop guidelines All
12h30-13h30 Lunch
13h30-14h00 Overview of potential synergies with the COST action ALIEN Challenge Riccardo Scalera
14h00-14h30 Outline of working group tasks Melodie McGeoch
14h30-16h30 Working groups: Case studies, infrastructure requirements, links back to policy and assessment processes All
16h30-17h00 Planning the way forward, including discussion of case studies, guidelines, monitoring and Black Listing All
19h00 – Group Dinner   All
Café Cantona
Windmühlenstraße 29, 04107, Leipzig, 0341 2254302, Booking: Ariane Korn (20 people)
Wednesday 4th Venue: Biocity Rm, iDiv
SESSION 3 Goals: Stakeholder Meeting: Development of an IUCN Black Listing process – challenges and opportunities Chair: Piero Genovesi
9h00-9h30 Welcome and background Piero Genovesi
9h30-10h00 Overview of outcomes from Black Listing Workshop (Sessions 1 and 2) Melodie McGeoch
10h00-11h00 Round Table of Stakeholder perspectives 10 min introductions by each representative
11h00-11h30 Tea break
11h30-12h00 Naming and defining a process for categorising and prioritising invasive species All
12h00-13h00 General discussion on the adoption of an IUCN Black Listing process All
13h00-14h00 Lunch
14h00-14h30 The Black Listing Initiative: the Way Forward All
14h30-17h00 Wrap up of Sessions 1 and 2 as required