Zambia is a signatory to the Convention on Biological diversity (CBD) and it recognizes its obligations as a party under Article 8(h) of the CBD to "Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species". Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are defined by the CBD as species, subspecies or lower taxa, (including any part, gametes, seeds, eggs, or propagules of such species), introduced outside their natural past or present distribution and whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity. IAS are also defined as non-native organisms that cause, or have the potential to cause, harm to the environment, economies, or human health.

IAS are global threat to the conservation of biodiversity through their proliferation and spread, displacing or killing native flora and fauna and affecting ecosystem services and placing constraints on environmental conservation, economic growth and sustainable development and one of the most significant drivers of environmental change worldwide. The globalization of trade, travel, and transport is greatly increasing the rate at which IAS are moving around the world, as well as the diversity and number of species being moved. At the same time, changes in land use and climate are rendering some habitats more susceptible to biological invasions.

Invasive species are introduced either intentionally or unintentionally. Invasive alien species have both ecological and socio-economic impacts. In Zambia they invade major rivers, dams, lakes and irrigation canals. They disrupt navigation, fishing and other recreation activities, adversely affect water flow, increase the loss of water from storage dams and pose a serious threat to hydro-electric installations. High densities of the invasive plants degrade ecosystems as well as grazing lands and are a threat to biodiversity. In summary Invasive Alien Species threaten;

  • Biodiversity
  • Trade
  • Transport
  • Food Security
  • Human Health