Environment groups are urging the Government to commit in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to spend £6 million a year on preventing invasive plants and animals establishing in the UK. New research estimates this investment would save a whopping £2.7 billion for our economy over the next 20 years by preventing damage from new invasive species – giving an economic return of £23 for every £1 spent.
New estimates and a new report from Wildlife and Countryside Link, the largest environmental coalition in England, also demonstrate that increasing the invasive species defence budget from the current spend of just under £1 million per year, to £6 million per year would:
Dr Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: ‘Ships clogged by mussels, crops and timber ruined by pests, and waterways blocked by weeds all come at a heavy economic price. Invasive species are costly for the economy as well as exacting a toll on wildlife. A relatively small Government investment of six million pounds per year offers a triple win, supporting jobs, preventing the cost from invaders rocketing, and protecting vulnerable UK wildlife.’