Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are urging public, private and third sector organisations to join an action group focused on tackling invasive non-native species in Wales.
The Wales Resilient Ecological Network (WaREN) will join together like-minded organisations to protect ecosystems and biodiversity by tackling the impact of invasive non-native species on the environment, people and economy of Wales.
Dealing with invasive species costs the Welsh economy over £125M a year, can harm delicate habitats, be harmful to human health, damage personal property and cause the decline of our own native species, for example, the red squirrel.
NRW are asking for organisations to join the network and put forward their ideas, information and best practices so a consistent, coordinated and effective approach to the problem can be put in place.
Together, these organisations will contribute to developing a coordinated Wales-wide plan for dealing with invasive non-native species, create a toolkit for stakeholders on how to deal with them and look into funding opportunities that will enable action to be taken to tackle invasive species and safeguard Wales’ delicate ecosystems.
The group is already being backed by NRW, Welsh Water, Wales Biodiversity Partnership, the North Wales Wildlife Trust and the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat.
Jennie Jones, specialist advisor for invasive non-native species for NRW, said:
“Areas of Wales have some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the UK and are of international importance, so safeguarding these habitats is one of the foundations of our work.
“WaREN will bring together organisations that have dealt with invasive non-native species first hand and will pool their expertise so we can put together an effective approach to managing and preventing the damage they cause.
“We’ve already got several highly experienced organisations on board and we’re hoping many more will join up to help protect Wales’ unique ecosystems for now and for the future.”
Organisations that wish to join WaREN can find out more information here.