The Invasive Species Centre and partners (Ducks Unlimited Canada, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre) recently submitted priorities ahead of the 2021 Federal Budget. The submission outlines recommendations for the federal government from all contributing partners.
The ISC and partners understand that prevention is the most effective and low-cost solution for managing invasive species. Waiting until an invasive species is established to start management is costly and can harm valuable infrastructure and the natural biodiversity needed for healthy ecosystems. Investing in prevention provides economic returns up to 100x higher than trying to manage a species after it spreads.
Following the principles of the Invasion Curve, the ISC proposes five recommendations for Federal Government’s consideration in preparation for the 2021 federal budget.These recommendations align with Federal Sustainable Development Strategy targets for investments in green, low-carbon infrastructure and infrastructure resilience, will improve ecosystem health for lakes, rivers and sustainable forests, support adaptation and resilience objectives from the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth Climate Change, and align with the United Nations International Decade on Ecological Restoration. They will bolster critical habitat and link to Canada Nature Fund Targets and support policy like the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act, and binational agreements like the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Recommendation 1: The federal government should commit to strategies and enhanced investments focusing on the early and most cost-effective stages of invasive species: prevention, early detection, and rapid response.
Recommendation 2: The federal government should enhance coordination nationally on invasive species regulation and response through an integrated national invasive species program. Improve outcomes through increased investment and collaboration, streamlining processes in new and existing partnerships and collaborative networks.
Recommendation 3: The federal government, working with provinces and partners, could explore sustainable finance mechanisms, including green bonds, to increase investment in invasive species prevention and management.
Recommendation 4: An invasive species response fund could be established by the Federal Government in collaboration with Provincial partners, which would mitigate costly delays and support response in an efficient way.
Recommendation 5: The federal government could consider investments in post COVID-19 economic recovery through investing in Green Shovels projects, to achieve job creation.
The ISC and partners will continue to provide policy responses to Canada’s provincial and federal governments, to advocate for increased investment in Invasive Species prevention and control.