Invasive Species Policy Must Embrace a Changing Climate
With increasing impacts of climate change observed across ecosystems, there is an urgent need to consider climate change in all future environmental policy. But existing policy and management might be slow to respond to this challenge, leading to missed opportunities to incorporate climate change into practice. Furthermore, invasive species threats continue to rise and interact with climate change—exacerbating negative impacts. Enabling natural resource managers and individuals to be proactive about climate-driven invasive species threats creates a win–win for conservation.
Recommendations include expanding opportunities for information sharing across borders, supporting proactive screening and regulation of high-risk species on the horizon, and incentivizing individual actions that reduce ecological impacts. In addition, invasive species risk should be considered when crafting climate mitigation and adaptation policy to reduce compounding stressors on ecosystems. As we develop much-needed tools to reduce harm, policy and management must consider the combined threats of invasions and climate change.