December 5, 2023: Tuvalu has officially launched its National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan (NISSAP) under the GEF 6 Regional Invasives Project (GEF 6 RIP) which aims to strengthen national and regional capacities to reduce the impact of Invasive Alien Species on globally significant biodiversity in the Pacific.
The 2022–2027 NISSAP for Tuvalu is the country's inaugural plan, developed through extensive collaboration and consultation with various stakeholders. The plan's formulation began with a thorough desk-top review of existing information conducted by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG 2019).
Hon. Ampelosa Manoa Tehulu, Minister of Public Works, Infrastructure, Environment, Labour, Meteorological and Disaster, and Hon. Sa’aga Talu, Minister of Local Government and Agriculture, jointly expressed in the foreword that the critical nature of collaboration across all levels of government, Kaupule, landowners, and other interested parties in addressing the challenge of invasive species.
“Previous efforts to prevent, eradicate, and control invasive species in Tuvalu demonstrate that collaboration across all levels of government, Kaupule, landowners, and other interested parties is critical to minimizing the spread and impact of invasive species. This NISSAP will guide us on addressing the problems that invasive species pose to our environment. Although the challenge is substantial, it is not impossible. We can act now—conclusively and strategically—to prevent and minimise the spread and impacts of invasive species on our ecosystems, health, economies, and infrastructure. Our charge is to join together and act.”
The goal of the NISSAP is to facilitate and guide the protection of biodiversity and livelihoods from the impacts of invasive species through strong collaboration. Key areas of emphasis include maintaining and enhancing the status of native biodiversity, strengthening border control, developing an inter-island biosecurity programme, eradicating invasive species where feasible, and controlling those species that cannot be eradicated.
Through the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Service (PRISMSS), the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and The Pacific Community (SPC) play pivotal roles as the key agencies providing regional coordination and support for the management of invasive species, impacting native biodiversity and affecting the agricultural and fisheries sectors, respectively. The GEF 6 RIP, funded by the Global Environment Facility, is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme and executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.