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Impacts in Africa

The livelihoods of large numbers of people in Africa depend on natural resources, which provide their primary sources of income and food. Invasive species threaten agricultural systems and crop productivity across the continent – often in countries which already suffer from droughts and food insecurity – and disrupt ecosystems. Their presence also inhibits the international trade of produce.


Impacts in Africa

Impacts in Asia

Despite increased economic growth in Asia poverty remains widespread. Invasive weeds, insects and diseases cause large losses to key crops such as rice, cassava, maize and potato, and reduce biodiversity – depleting the natural resources many people rely on for food, fuel and medicines.


Impacts in Asia

Environmental Impacts

Himalayan balsam clogging up a river

Biodiversity is essential for the functioning of the ecosystems that provide vital resources such as food, water, fuel, building material and traditional medicines for millions of people in the world’s poorer rural areas. Invasive species pose a serious risk: by altering and degrading the environment, they have a negative effect on both native species and the people who live and work there. 

  • Reduced biodiversity
  • Decreased availability and quality of key natural resources
  • Water shortages
  • Increased frequency of wildfires and flooding
  • Pollution caused by overuse of chemicals to control infestations
Environmental Impacts

Social Impacts

Women cutting back the weed Opuntia in Kenya

Invasive species are a major threat to the livelihoods of the people who live in the areas they colonize. Through disrupting ecosystems, invasive plants, insects and diseases impair many of the things humans need to sustain a good quality of life – including food and shelter, health, security and social interaction.

  • Livelihood options narrowed
  • Food security decreased
  • Recreational and social opportunities limited
  • Risks to human and animal health
  • Increased social challenges
Social Impacts

Economic Impacts

Scientist and farmer

Agriculture, forestry and fishing are of huge importance to the economies of developing countries. Invasive species affect the productivity of these systems, and limit the ability of producers to access export markets. This results in hardship and poverty, and hinders sustainable economic growth and development.

  • Value and quality of land degraded
  • Lower crop productivity
  • High cost of controlling pests, weeds and diseases
  • Routes to domestic and global markets blocked
  • Livestock forced into marginal, sub-optimal grazing lands
Economic Impacts