10 INVASIVE NON-NATIVE SPECIES- WHICH AGENCY IS RESPONSIBLE
10.1. A Framework of Responsibilities has been agreed by the key government agencies dealing with invasive non-native species. The Framework aims to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear. This will help to ensure that control work is undertaken promptly, reducing costs, and will avoid duplication. Although the Framework will make the response to invasive non-native species impacts more effective, limited resources will mean that each agency will have to balance the effort on invasives against other priority tasks.
10.2. The Framework designates SNH as the overall lead co-ordinating body for non-native species issues. SNH will work with lead bodies for each habitat type as set out below.
Forestry Commission Scotland ( FCS)
Woodlands and other habitats by Forestry Commission Scotland (the national forest estate). FCS will also lead in other woodlands for most non-native plant species, and other non-native species that impact on plant health or forestry interests.
A partnership approach may be taken for some species affecting biodiversity interests, especially animals and plants that are found both in woodland and other habitats.
The marine environment
Marine and coastal habitats up to Mean High Water Spring level or the limit of saline influence up an estuary.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA)
Freshwater - still and flowing waters
Species found within the water body itself including emergent plants.
The boundary between freshwater and marine is that previously agreed with Marine Scotland for the purposes of the Water Framework Directive - these relate to the limit of saline influence up an estuary.
Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH)
All terrestrial and wetland habitats and species in situations not listed above
Including riparian vegetation, peatlands and mires outwith woodland areas. All terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates (including all birds, and amphibians).
The Role of Co-ordinating Body - SNH
10.3. As co-ordinating body SNH will ensure that the Framework operates effectively as well as providing an oversight of delivery and implementation of invasive non-native species policy in Scotland. It will work in close partnership with the other bodies tasked with providing leadership on specific habitat types ( SEPA; MS; FCS) and with the Scottish Non-Native Species Working Group. It will provide generic advice and guidance to the habitat lead bodies and to others on INNS issues where required.
The Role of Habitat Lead Organisations
10.4. Habitat leads will:
- be a point of contact for species within that particular habitat;
- be required to determine what the strategic priorities are for that habitat type (reference to the draft SWG Priorities paper will be of use);
- ensure an appropriate strategy is delivered for these priorities and - (this may include public awareness raising, the "do-nothing" option, containment, biosecurity measures, eradication etc). This may in many situations mean encouraging or coordinating action by other groups or bodies.
- continue dialogue and work with partners to deliver these priorities;
- consider prevention measure such as assessment and management of high-risk pathways into and within the habitat and consider strategies to reduce risk from these pathways (regulation, public awareness etc.)
- determine the suitability and necessity of control work and coordinate and manage any work undertaken with the habitat. Note that this does not necessarily require work to be progressed "on the ground" as control action must be technically and financially feasible, humane and safe, and proportionate to the level of threat. Lead bodies will also need to assess any control work against any competing priorities.
10.5. For some species a joint or shared responsibility, often through a partnership is the most effective arrangement. The case study below sets out some of the partnership work underway. Efforts will be made to maintain and develop partnership working both within the lead bodies described above and by bringing in additional organisations.
The extensive growth of Rhododendron ponticum and its hybrids in the west and south-west of Scotland poses a major threat to biodiversity of international importance, particularly to mosses, liverworts and lichens. A partnership led by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage along with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the National Trust for Scotland, Highland Birchwoods and others has been formed to address this threat. Two project officer posts are funded through the partnership.
10.6. A set of species priorities has been agreed by the Scottish Working Group on Non-Native Species. These priorities will set the strategic framework for action (prevention, awareness, control etc.) in Scotland. Habitat leads will work through the Scottish Working Group to agree relevant actions.
The role of Scottish Government and the Scottish Working Group
10.7. Natural Resources Division in the Scottish Government will continue to lead on strategic policy on invasive non-native species. This will include:
- coordination at the Great Britain and European level
- coordination, development and strategic oversight of policy within Scotland;
- chairing the Scottish Working Group on Non-Native Species;
- leading on matters relating to INNS policy work including risk assessment, prevention, legislation and research.
Who to contact?
10.8. The description of the responsibilities of each of the Habitat leads should direct you to which organisation to contact. The central contact points for each organisation are:
Species Policy Advisor, Forestry Commission Scotland.
Tel: 0131 334 0303
Marine Scotland, 1st Floor, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ
Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Erskine Court, Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TT
Tel: 01786 457 700
Great Glen House , Leachkin Road, Inverness, IV3 8NW
Tel: 01463 725000
10.9. If it's not clear who is responsible for your area of interest is then please contact SNH for advice.