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UN Report: Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control

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Invasive species costs global economy $423 billion per year - UN reportThe Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the leading United Nations (UN) body on Biodiversity and Conservation, published a report titled Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control (known as the “Invasive Alien Species Report”).

  • As per the report, invasive alien species were identified as one of the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide, and at least 37,000 alien species were established worldwide.
  • The report also reveals that more than 3,500 invasive species have penetrated various regions and biomes worldwide due to human activities, thus affecting human health, food security, and biodiversity.
  • The global economic cost of invasive alien species exceeded USD 423 billion annually in 2019, with costs having at least quadrupled every decade since 1970.


i.In 2018, the IPBES Plenary, at its 6th session (IPBES-6) in Medellin, Colombia, approved the undertaking of a thematic assessment of invasive alien species and their control.

ii.The assessment officially commenced at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary (IPBES-7) in Paris (France) in 2019.

iii.The assessment report and its summary for policymakers for its approval were presented for the Plenary’s acceptance, at the 10th session of the Plenary (IPBES-10).

  • IPBES-10 took place from 28 August – 2 September 2023 in Bonn, Germany.

Report Analysis:

i.The report emphasised that not all alien species become invasive, Invasive alien species are a specific subset of alien species that establish and spread, causing harm to ecosystems and sometimes people.

  • About 6% of alien plants; 22% of alien invertebrates; 14% of alien vertebrates; and 11% of alien microbes are known to be invasive, posing major risks to nature and to people.

ii.Invasive alien species have a profound impact on ecosystems worldwide, contributing to 60% of global animal and plant extinctions. In some cases, they are the sole drivers, responsible for 16% of these extinctions.

  • Over 218 invasive alien species have been directly responsible for more than 1,200 local extinctions.

iii.Nearly 80% of the documented impacts of invasive alien species on nature’s contributions to people are negative, especially through damage to food supplies.


  • The impact of the European shore crab (Carcinus maenas) on commercial shellfish beds in New England, the United Kingdom (UK);
  • Damage caused by the Caribbean false mussel (Mytilopsis sallei) to locally important fishery resources in India.

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About Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES):
Executive secretary– Dr. Anne Larigauderie
Headquarters– Bonn, Germany
Established on– 2012