The problem of invasive non-native species causing harm is a global one. Within Great Britian there are various agencies involved in co-ordinating the approach to tackling invasive non-native species, and several organisations lead on this work within Scotland.
The Non-native Species Secretariat has responsibility for helping to coordinate the approach to invasive non-native species in Great Britain. They are responsible to a Programme Board which represents the relevant governments and agencies of England, Scotland and Wales.
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As part of the Scottish Government’s Code of Practice on NNS and INNS a framework of responsibilities has been developed for relevant organisations:
- Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the lead coordinating body for the framework and lead organisation.
SNH is the lead body for invasive species on land, this includes invasive species like Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, Rhododendron, Grey squirrels and American mink.
- Marine Scotland leads on invasive species in our seas and the marine environment. This includes invasive species like the Carpet sea squirt.
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is the lead body for freshwater (still and flowing). They lead on aquatic invasive species including New Zealand pygmyweed (Crassula), Curly waterweed and Water fern.
- Scottish Forestry leads on invasive species in woodland and other habitats on the National Forest Estate. This includes Rhododendron and Grey squirrel.
- The Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) recognises the introduction and spread of alien or invasive non native species as a major cause of biodiversity loss. The CBD sets global priorities, guidelines, collects information and helps to coordinate international action on invasive alien species.
- The World Conservation Union (IUCN) developed the Species Survival Commission (SSC) as part of the global initiative on invasive species. Within the commission is the Invasive Species Specialist Group who host the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD)