Alien Species Threaten Southern African Biodiversity
The indigenous biodiversity of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is increasingly under threat from alien invasive species, a recent report by the Southern Africa Biodiversity Support Program (SABSP) concluded. The report points out that thousands of hectares of the region’s land and water have already been contaminated by thousands of alien plant species. The report furthermore notes that while Southern Africa represents and important region of the "remaining mega-fauna of the world," it has yet to create a biodiversity protocol. While sectoral protocols include biodiversity, the report believes there is a need for a single cross-sectoral biodiversity protocol. As Zambia’s Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Marina Nsingo noted, "if the (international Convention on Biological Diversity) is to have any practical impact, it needs to be implemented by members states." To do so, Nsingo has pushed for the creation of national, enforceable laws based on the Convention. Dr. Marian Fuller, a biodiversity expert, believes that following 10 years of action by the SADC to battle alien species, Southern Africa must now connect regional biodiversity to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
"Invaders Move on Africa’s Biodiversity Gems," ENS, 17 December 2002.