Project

Strategy for Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

Measures are to be introduced to counteract the spread of invasive species in Switzerland. Swiss National Council member Karl Vogel has submitted a petition in favour of developing a strategy to control the spread of invasive species. On behalf of FOEN, EBP is working out a basis for providing a detailed response to the petition.

Non-native species include any plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms that, as a result of human activities, are introduced to habitats that are beyond the normal range of their original habits. More than 800 well-established, non-native species were identified in Switzerland in the year 2006.

Any non-native species that are known to or assumed to spread in their host environments (e.g. in Switzerland) and could pose a threat to people or to the native populations of plants and animals are referred to as invasive species. In addition to posing a threat to the natural diversity of native species, invasive species also pose a threat to human health, agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing, buildings and roads and can result in major health, social and economic damage.

In his petition "Stop the Spread of Invasive Species", Swiss National Council member Karl Vogler has called for the establishment of an effective national strategy to eliminate or contain the spread of invasive species in Switzerland. This strategy should contain a catalogue of measures (both preventive and control measures) designed to minimise the ecological, health, social and economic impact of invasive species. The petition also calls for an examination of the existing legal framework to determine whether any changes need to be made.

On behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), we are currently working out a basis for providing a detailed response to the petition.