Invasive Species Threaten the Success of Climate Change Adaptation Efforts

Invasive Species Advisory Council
Posted on: 3/01/2024 - Updated on: 3/04/2024

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Across the nation, climate change must be addressed not only through direct mitigation and adaptation, but also through strategic mitigation of threats to the success of those actions. Invasive species are a significant threat to climate preparedness and resilience —their impacts fundamentally alter natural and built systems, reducing society’s ability to adapt to a changing climate. Broad-scale changes to federal priorities and paradigms surrounding climate change actions, from the perspective of invasive species management, are needed to achieve success. Failures to systematically integrate invasive species into these approaches will slow or even prevent meeting climate adaptation goals.

In this paper, the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC) provides a blueprint for transforming how invasive species are considered within U.S. climate change planning, processes, and policies, structured as follows:

  • Five priority recommendations representing practical objectives within existing Federal priorities, strategies, and frameworks
    1. All Federal agencies and departments must explicitly incorporate invasive species into climate change adaptation guidance.
    2. Increase support for national and regional networks and other programs working at the intersection of climate change and invasive species.
    3. Integrate invasive species science and prevention efforts into climate related international treaties, agreements, conventions, practices, and policies.
    4. Ensure early detection, rapid response, and safeguarding strategies account for up-to-date climate data, projections, and models across all geographies.
    5. Increase investments for long-term management of invasive species threatening climate preparedness and resilience.
  • Case studies representing threats to 14 climate-related themes for illustration and context, including:
    • Natural climate solution: Carbon sequestration, storage, and cycles
    • Infrastructure resilience: Flood control, water supply, watershed protection, and structures
    • Resilient coastal communities: Coral reefs, saltwater marshes
    • Cultural practices: First foods, medicinal plants, traditional arts
    • Island sustainability: Human health, food systems, traditional practices
  • Three success stories to underscore how federal action can yield tangible results

See other related publications by ISAC:


Invasive Species Threaten the Success of Climate Change Adaptation Efforts. 2023. Invasive Species Advisory Council.

Affiliated Organizations

National Invasive Species Council membership resides with the highest level of Federal leadership. The overarching duty of the Council is to provide the high-level vision and leadership necessary to sustain and expand Federal efforts to safeguard interests of the United States by preventing, eradicating, and controlling invasive species, as well as restoring ecosystems and other assets impacted by invasive species.

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