National Management Plan: Appendix 6 - Guiding Principles

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[Executive Summary] | [Introduction] | [Survey of Federal Roles & Responsibilities] | [An Action Plan for the Nation] | [Conclusion] | [Appendices]

In addition, the Advisory Committee and the Council adopted a set of guiding principles to shape the development of the Management Plan. They provide the general scope and direction for the specific actions to be taken under the invasive species management plan. By reflecting the values and experience of a diversity of stakeholders, they are intended to support efforts to prevent and control the invasive species at local, State, national, and international scales.

Guiding Principle #1 - Take action now.

Many alien species are non-invasive and support human livelihoods or a preferred quality of life. Only those alien species that cause substantial, negative impacts to the environment, economies, and human health fall under the scope of the Invasive Species Council.

Introductions by invasive species can be a consequence of human activities such as trade, travel, and alteration of the environment. Changes in human values, beliefs, and behavior are necessary to alleviate the introduction and spread of invasive species.

In order to protect food, health, and the environment we must now take strategic action to reduce the impacts of invasive species.

Guiding Principle #2 - Be cautious and comprehensive.

Invasions are often unpredictable: caution is warranted in the intentional and unintentional relocation of all non-native organisms.

An effective management strategy for invasive species integrates information exchange, public education, prevention, early detection, rapid response, scientifically informed control, and restoration.

A comprehensive strategy for preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species addresses intentional, unintentional, authorized, and unauthorized movement of organisms among and within countries.

In order to be effective, national and international goals and actions relevant to the management of invasive species need to be congruent, integrated, and mutually supportive.

Policies that address the problem of invasive species will be most effective if they are consistently applied (across pathways, means of invasion and invaders) are comprehensive in scope, and take in the consideration of all stakeholders.

Guiding Principle #3 - Work smart, be adaptive.

Efforts to manage invasive species are most-effective when: (1) they have goals and objectives that are clearly defined and prioritized; and they are (2) proactive rather than reactive; (3) based on current biological, social, and economic information; (4) applied rapidly, even when a reasonable degree of uncertainty is present; and (5) benefit a diversity of stakeholders.

The impacts of invasive species can be significantly reduced if stakeholders work cooperatively to: (1) undertake applied, interdisciplinary research, (2) develop and apply technologies to prevent and control invasive species, and 3) incorporate these advances into management and policy decision making.

A system to coordinate and integrate information of invasive species is desirable, as is an organized approach to disseminating data and ensuring that management strategies evolve based on new information.

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Guiding Principle #4 - Find balance.

The prevention and management of invasive species can support economic growth and sustainable development and should be incorporated into policies to meet these objectives.

Develop policies and incentive programs that encourage voluntary cooperation of public agencies, States, and all other stakeholders. Back these measures with effective enforcement authorities and capabilities.

Strive for control methods that are scientifically, socially, culturally, and ethically acceptable and provide the desired affect on the target organism while minimizing the negative impact on the environment.

Guiding Principle #5 - Pull together.

The current capacities of the United States to prevent and manage invasive species are often fragmented, inefficient, and lack sufficient enforcement. Coordination and an effective regulatory framework are required at the Federal level, and a complementary, flexible approach is needed to address the complex, broad needs of stakeholders at more local levels.

Cooperative relationships among Federal, State, and county governments, as well as other stakeholders, need to be encouraged and supported to ensure the development and implementation of an effective invasive species prevention and control program nationwide.

The United States needs to raise the profile of the invasive species issue, provide leadership in the management of invasive species, share information and technologies, and contribute technical assistance to address the problem on a global scale.

Guiding Principle #6 - Be inclusive, meet specific needs.

Everyone has a stake in the management of invasive species and therefore needs to be involved in efforts to address the problem.

Education and outreach programs on invasive species will be most effective when they target the information needs and interests of specific audiences, indicate that positive progress can be made, and recommend specific actions. Stakeholder involvement can be expanded by communicating the inter-relationships between invasive species and quality of life issues, and by delivering a consistent message through a diversity of messengers and media.

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