Biological invasions are responsible for substantial biodiversity declines as well as high economic losses to society and monetary expenditures associated with the management of these invasion, reads a recent article published in Nature.
Economic costs of biological invasions
According to a recent report “High and rising economic costs of biological invasions worldwide,” the total reported costs of invasions reached a minimum of US$1.288 trillion (2017 US dollars) over the past few decades (1970–2017), with an annual mean cost of US$26.8 billion.
At the same time, it was estimated that the annual mean cost could reach US$162.7 billion in 2017. These costs remain strongly underestimated and do not show any sign of slowing down, exhibiting a consistent threefold increase per decade.
Undervalued economic burden
In summary, invasions generate a high but still undervalued economic burden to societies. The study’s findings illustrate that these reported costs:
- have markedly increased over the past few decades
- show no sign of slowing down
- require more and better organized research
- stress the need of evidence-based and cost-effective management actions
Of particular note is the fact that these economic losses are only part of the full aggregate of effects that are incurred from invasive alien species. Indeed, the ecological and health impacts of invasions are at least as important, but are often incalculable.
Need for global investment
Finally, the report highlights once again the critical need for more global investment in research as well as policy development and implementation to minimize the effect of invasions worldwide.
The study was conducted by Christophe Diagne, Boris Leroy, Anne-Charlotte Vaissière, Rodolphe E. Gozlan, David Roiz, Ivan Jarić, Jean-Michel Salles, Corey J. A. Bradshaw & Franck Courchamp.
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