International policy options for reducing the environmental impacts of invasive species

Reuben P. Keller, Charles Perrings

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Preventing the spread of nonnative invasive species is an international public good. Some categories of invasive species-such as diseases of humans and live-stockare addressed by international agreements that coordinate efforts to reduce their spread. In contrast, invasive species that primarily cause environmental impacts are managed almost exclusively at the national level. Control of environmental invaders is internationally undersupplied because the efforts of nations that do invest to prevent their spread are undercut by nations that do not. Addressing this problem will require international cooperation. We identify the international approach to controlling human diseases as a model that could provide institutions and mechanisms to map the spread of environmental invaders and assess the risks they impose. This would allow individual nations to manage potential vectors of invasion. Because such a system is unlikely to be implemented in the near future, we make recommendations for intermediate steps, including the widespread adoption of existing risk assessments and importation standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1012
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • World Health Organization
  • World Trade Organization
  • invasive species
  • sanitary and phytosanitary agreement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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