May 27, 2022

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Invasive alien species affect our ecosystems and population health |  Peru

Invasive alien species affect our ecosystems and population health | Peru

Invasive alien species (IAS) pose one of the most serious threats to biodiversity, food security, as well as to the livelihoods and health of the Peruvian population; Some countries even consider it more dangerous than climate change.

To name a few, in our country, specimens of the European hare invaded southern Peru (coast and Andean), which is a growing problem for local biodiversity and agricultural crops. Among the vegetables, in the Andean region there is the Kikuyu grass, and in the forest, the Chabumba fern, both of which are of African origin, which also seriously harms agriculture. In this group there is also the African snail, which affects the ecosystem mainly in the cities and surrounding areas in the forest.

They reproduce rapidly, outperforming native species in competition for food, water, and space; They are one of the five main causes of biodiversity loss in the world, a situation that is exacerbated by vulnerable ecosystems”, emphasized the Director General of Biodiversity of the Ministry of Environment (MENAM), Jose Alvarez.

In general, invasive alien species that have entered Peru have done so by various means, either by accident, spontaneously, or premeditated and consciously by the human population.

Currently, 134 species of invasive alien species from different groups of animals and plants, as well as two species of fungi, have been identified and registered in the list of alien species reviewed by the Technical Group of Invasive Alien Species of the National Biological Diversity Committee, based on the Menam List (2014).

To address this situation, the Government has approved the National Action Plan on Invasive Alien Species of Peru 2022-2026, through Supreme Decree No. 006-2022-MINAM, which is a leading instrument in this matter and will help clarify actions between the various sectors and actors with competences and interest in the topic.

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“In a country as diverse as Peru, the approval and implementation of the said national plan is a national priority. This becomes even more important in the current health situation that is going through the impact of COVID-19, one of the biological invasions on a scale unprecedented in human history”, notes Alvarez Alonso.