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  • Writer's pictureTaher Tarraf

The swift proliferation of 37,000 invasive species presents significant challenges to the environmen

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

The proliferation of invasive #species is on the rise due to the accelerating forces of globalization and climate change. These invaders wreak havoc on crops, forests, and contribute to the spread of diseases that pose a serious threat to the quality of life on Earth. This alarming trend is underscored by an unprecedented report compiled by experts from 49 countries, aggregating the findings of over 13,000 studies.

These experts have identified a staggering 37,000 alien species introduced by human activities to various regions across the globe, with more than 3,500 of them categorized as invasive. These invasive species encompass a wide range, including plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, and microbes, and they present significant challenges across environmental, health, and economic domains.

Renowned ecologist Helen Roy expressed her concerns, noting that the threats associated with biological invasions are escalating at an unprecedented rate worldwide. She emphasized that if no concerted effort is made to curb this trajectory, the situation is likely to deteriorate even more rapidly. From the Asian hornet to the American lobster, and spanning species like ragweed, Japanese knotweed, squirrels, raccoons, and more, estimates suggest that the number of invasive species is projected to increase by a staggering thirty-six percent by 2050 compared to 2005.

While Europe, the Americas, and Central Asia bear the brunt of these invasive species concentrations, islands and indigenous communities that depend heavily on their natural surroundings are particularly vulnerable. Annibal Bouchard, co-director of the report, underscored the high cost of inaction, stating that the economic toll of invasive alien species is immense, with global estimates exceeding $423 billion annually. This figure has quadrupled every decade since 1970.

A 2021 study published in the journal Nature estimated that the cumulative cost of damage caused by this phenomenon over five decades stands at a minimum of $1,288 billion. #InvasiveSpecies

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