European Code of Conduct for botanic gardens on invasive alien species
In 1993 a Group of Experts was created under the auspices of the Council of Europe devoted to the analysis of the impacts of invasive alien species on European biodiversity. The Group was asked to propose measures that governments may take to avoid new introductions and control the spread of invasive alien species. These are complex tasks that cannot be just trusted to a few experts, but that need the collaboration of the many different actors dealing on a daily base with organisms or living material.
In this respect, the Council of Europe is preparing a number of “codes of conduct” aimed at making relevant industries and institutions more aware of the risks for native biodiversity of the non-native species they handle.
Even though botanic gardens are usually managed by scientists who understand well the risks to the environment from invasive alien species, not many of them have devised special policies to address this problem. The present code aims to offer some guidance to all botanic garden personnel in the hope that, knowing their commitment to biodiversity conservation, they will use it in their everyday work and thus contribute to the task of preserving our ecosystems free as far as possible from the impacts of invasive alien species.
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