Establishing a Nature Volunteer Force (Citizens’ Army) to monitor invasive species is one of a number of recommendations the Government is exploring following the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on Invasive Species.
Urgent action needed
Last year, the Committee published its report on invasive species, finding that they cost the UK economy £1.8 billion a year through damage done to natural biodiversity, disease transmission and other harmful effects to the environment. It was clear that urgent action is needed to slow the rate of arrival of invasive species, and concerns were raised it is not being given the same priority and funding as animal and plant health.
In response to the report, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recognised the need for greater resources to tackle the issue.
Nature Volunteer Force
Establishing a Nature Volunteer Force to track invasive species was one of the main recommendations of the Committee, and the Government has confirmed it will monitor a similar approach underway in New Zealand. It has estimated the cost to support Local Action Groups in the UK could be around £340,000 and after the Spending Review, the Government will consider taking this forward.
Posted on: 13 May 2020