The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on Invasive Species published in 2019.
In the response, Defra recognised the need for greater resources to tackle the issue which is estimated to cost the UK economy £1.8 billion a year. The government have also agreed to explore creating a separate inspectorate to tackle invasive species, adding that public goods payments from the proposed Environmental Land Management Scheme could contribute to efforts to reduce the pressure of established invasive species.
Defra will now monitor the development of a volunteer taskforce on invasive species in New Zealand, to consider implementing a Nature Volunteer Force in the UK.
The government also confirmed that a further six Pathway action plans will be completed by the end of 2022, along with a review of the list of species of special concern.