This legacy is seriously threatened by climate changes and the spreading of non-native invasive species. “The damage caused by non-native invasive species adds up to 1,4 billions every year, 5% of the world economy, with consequences on a wide range of economical activities such as agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, transport, trade and energy production”. These alarming data, very similar to the percentage of damage caused by global warming, has been illustrated in the recent report published by GISP, Global Invasive Species Programme, sponsored by the World Bank: “Invasive species, climate change and ecosystem based adaptation: addressing multiple drivers of global change”.
The report underlines that the combined effect of climate change and invasive species can be devastating non just for the environment, but also for the economy, since it costs countries 10% of their gross domestic product.
What are the possible solutions?
In October 2010 Gisp invited the Cop 10 delegates that were gathered in Nagoya, Japan, to take seriously into account the effect of the combined action of climate change and the spreading of invasive species in order to preserve the Earth biodiversity as well as the natural resources that are needed for our survival.
Moreover, we need to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. Biodiversity itself can mitigate the negative effects of climate change. The June 2007 issue of Nature 2000 reports that: “By preserving healthy and lively ecosystems it is possible to keep down the emissions of greenhouse gases because forests, peat bogs and other habitats can absorb CO2 and act as proper natural “carbon sinks”. Moreover, well-preserved ecosystems can reduce the negative effect of extreme weather conditions that, according to the forecasts, will continue to worsen because of the increase of the Planet’s temperature”.