A threat to economic growth and sustainable development
The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods. By destroying livelihoods, they undermine economic growth and contribute to economic migration.
The threat posed by invasive species is not limited to agriculture or biodiversity – they have a significant impact on almost all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
Up to 16% (US$96 billion worth) of the world’s rice, wheat, and maize is lost every year due to invasive species
Approximately 70% of school children leave school during peak weeding times to help control invasive plants
In Africa, 100 million women spend 20 billion hours weeding, an average of 200 hours per person per year
Aquatic weeds and invasive mussels choke hydroelectric schemes, affecting operations and increasing costs
Longer seasons and warmer weather are creating ideal conditions for highly adaptive invasive species to thrive, out-competing native fauna
Invasive species are species whose introduction and spread threaten biological diversity or have other unforeseen impacts. Discover which species are posing a global threat, both in terms of biodiversity and the cost to economic activities such as agriculture, tourism, and development.
Invasive species disproportionately affect communities in poor rural areas; people who depend on natural resources and healthy ecosystems to make a living. Meet the people from around the world who are living with invasive species in their communities and discover their stories.
Invasive species have major economic, social and environmental impacts. They reduce biodiversity, alter and degrade the environment, affect the productivity of agricultural ecosystems, and limit the ability of producers to access export markets - all of which hinders sustainable economic growth and development.