Flora and Fauna: Invasive Species

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:45 pm, 22nd September 2020

The EU Invasive Alien Species Committee is responsible for the listing of species of Union concern, as opposed to my Department. The EU IAS Committee explains that some well-known IAS are not listed, either because they do not have a risk assessment, the risk assessments do not include some of the information required by the regulation or there was insufficient evidence that the species met the criteria for listing. In this instance, there was insufficient evidence for the committee that inclusion of Japanese knotweed on the Union list would effectively prevent, minimise or mitigate its adverse impact. As a result, the IAS Committee decided that the listing would not be able to make a significant difference to a species that was already so widely spread throughout the European Union.