A threat to economic growth
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, invasive species undermine economic growth and contribute to economic migration.
Urgent action is needed to ensure opportunities for work and support economic growth.
A threat to sustainable development
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):
Invasive species such as the tomato leafminer can destroy up to 90% of harvests, wiping out farmers’ incomes
Up to 16% (US$96 billion worth) of the world’s rice, wheat, and maize is lost every year due to invasive species
Invasive species, such Parthenium weed, can cause dermatitis, respiratory problems and other health issues
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 unforseen 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.