Beyond protocols: improving the reliability of expert-based risk analysis underpinning invasive species policies

Sonia Vanderhoeven, Etienne Branquart, Bram D'hondt, Phil Hulme, Assaf Schwartz, Diederik Strubbe, Anne Turbé, Jim Casaer, Hugo Verreycken, Tim Adriaens

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    Risk assessment tools for invasive alien species need to incorporate all evidence and expertise available. Despite the wealth of protocols now available to this end, we believe the current way of performing risk assessments shows several shortcomings and provide examples with regards to the newly implemented EU IAS Regulation. In particular, baseline data on ecological impacts, transparency in the decision making, uncertainty and content control should be properly considered for decision making. We recommend improved quality control through formalized peer review with clear feedback to authors and reviewers, and stress the importance of ensuring repeatability and transparency. Alternatively, to better capture opinions of different experts, thereby maximizing the evidential basis, a consensus approach can be applied which also
    provides inter-rater reliability. Manageability should also be explicitly covered in risk analysis. Tackling the invasive species issue requires better handling of the acquired information on risk and the exploration of novel methodologies for decision making on biodiversity management. Quality assurance, repeatability, clear procedures and transparent decision making are crucial for efficient conservation resource allocation and uptake by stakeholders and the public.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Thematic list

    • Invasive species (nature management)
    • Invasive species (fauna management)
    • Invasive species (species diversity)
    • Invasive species (management)

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology
    • B004-botany
    • B005-zoology


    • policy support (inc. instruments)
    • biodiversity policy
    • fauna management
    • species directed nature management

    Free keywords

    • invasive species
    • invasieve soorten
    • invasieve exoten
    • exoten
    • evidence-based conservation
    • manageability
    • alien species
    • decision making,

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