Prosecutions under the regulations

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7. effeCtiveNeSS of reGuLatioNS

7.6. Prosecutions under the regulations

a person may be found guilty of an offence if that person contravenes or fails to comply with certain provisions of the a&is regulations. such a person would be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding five million rand, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding Zar10 million; or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years; or to both a fine and imprisonment. To date, no cases have been brought to trial and there have therefore not been any successful, or unsuccessful, prosecutions under the a&is regulations.

7.7. SYNtheSiS aNd iNdiCator vaLueS

The a&is regulations were published in 2014 and have been in effect for less than three years. it is therefore somewhat early to assess their effectiveness, and at this stage most of the reporting requirements outlined above describe inputs rather than outputs or outcomes. nonetheless, a number of points emerge.

There appear to be very high levels of compliance with many of the regulations at this stage. non-compliance can be seen in the very low number of submissions of area management plans, and of notifications from land owners of listed alien species on their land; a complete absence of research proposals and outputs submitted; and very low numbers of requests received for permits for widespread category 2 species. The reasons for non-compliance could include widespread ignorance of the regulations, a lack of capacity to comply with the regulatory requirements (reflected, for example, in requests from organs of state for extensions to submission deadlines for plans), or a decision to ignore the requirements.

There is also a need for monitoring the long-term trends in compliance and effectiveness. most of the reporting requirements presented here are simply inputs, and monitoring outcomes, and ways of linking those outcomes to regulatory inputs remains a challenge.

This assessment has not found any evidence of the strategic use of the regulations to achieve particular goals in priority areas. for example, areas could be identified where the reduction of alien plant invasions could be more easily achieved because the invasions are at an early stage, and where the consequences of not acting rapidly would mean that the problem would grow to unmanageable proportions. The approach at present seems to either be random, or to deal with easy targets such as traders (nurseries and pet shops), rather than identifying and prioritising relevant landowners for the issuing of notifications on the basis of the impact they might have on invasions.

Tus of biological invasions and Their managemenT in souTh africa2017

The implementation of the regulations has been particularly challenging in cases where the regulated species have commercial or other value, and dealing with these issues has absorbed a great deal of capacity (though the amount of capacity has not been formally computed as of yet). The most prominent example has been the attempt to regulate both Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout) and Salmo trutta (brown trout) (Woodford et al., 2017). This has been fiercely contested through public and political lobbying by angling organisations. This included opposition to a project intending to remove alien fishes from four rivers to allow for the recovery of indigenous fish populations (marr, impson & Tweddle 2012; Weyl et al., 2014); challenging 2013 and 2014 revisions of the nem:ba regulations as unconstitutional, and challenging the status of trout as an invasive species.

This situation is regarded as unfortunate (ellender et al., 2014) because the nem:ba a&is regulations point towards a mutually beneficial strategy, conserving indigenous biodiversity in key areas while allowing for the development of fisheries in others. it is unlikely that the conflict will be resolved soon, and the lack of acceptance of the proposed legislation by trout lobby groups creates potential for non-conformity and further spreading of these species to areas where they do not yet occur.

finally, where data are available on the efficacy of the regulations it is at best in terms of outputs, i.e. the number of permits that were issued, refused, and the number of prosecutions that have resulted from non-compliance.

however, an assessment of the effectiveness of the regulations would have to be on the basis of demonstrated impact on the status of biological invasions in terms of pathways, species, or areas (see chapters 3–6), i.e. the outcomes. This will require some extrapolation, e.g. to estimate the invasion debt. for example, if a permit is not issued for a given species on the basis of a risk analysis, can the non-introduction of that species be deemed as one fewer invasive species in the country? agreed methods need to be developed. The current assessment of the indicators for quality of assessment is presented in Table 7.14.

tABle 7.14 An indicator for reporting on the effectiveness of regulations. for full details of how to calculate the indicator, see Appendix 1.

indiCAtor MetriC

BASiC AdvAnCed level oF

ConFidenCe noteS

13. Quality of regulatory framework (input)

13.1. overall quality substantial

13.2. Quality assessed for different agencies, and for collaboration data not available

13.1. moderate assessment was done by a semi-independent team of invasion scientists but the team did not include anyone from the legal profession

KNoWLedGe aNd 8

iNforMatioN GaPS iN

uNderStaNdiNG the StatuS of

BioLoGiCaL iNvaSioNS

Lead authors:

Sebataolo Rahlao, Katelyn faulkner, Brian van Wilgen,

John Wilson, Tsungai Zengeya

Chapter summary

This chapter highlights gaps in the available information on pathways of introduction and dispersal, the status of alien species and of areas invaded, and the effectiveness of interventions. The chapter further identifies key limitations and opportunities for enabling processes towards management of biological invasions in south africa, key topics not covered in this report that should be prioritised for subsequent reports, and processes for future reports.

in particular three key areas of focus are identified: (1) the need for more research to determine and assess the impacts of alien species; (2) better monitoring of the effectiveness of current control measures; and (3) the development of methods to look at the impact of biological invasions and their management on society as a whole.

Cotoneaster franchetii (cotoneaster) – a barra

harversting mass-reared biological control agents for release – Kim Weaver

Tus of biological invasions and Their managemenT in souTh africa2017

8.1. aPProaCh uSed iN thiS ChaPter

The previous chapters (one to seven) revealed that the management of biological invasions in south africa is complex and inter-disciplinary. it is undertaken by multiple stakeholders, including national, provincial, and local government departments, various ngos, and the private sector. a set of indicators has been developed to track trends in biological invasions and the effectiveness of their management, but in many cases it was not possible to confidently assign values to these indicators because of a lack of data. This chapter presents gaps in knowledge and information that limit our ability to report on the status and management of biological invasions.

firstly, when writing this report, it became clear that some data were not available and so analyses could not be conducted. secondly, other gaps were identified during consultations with experts and other groups – while soliciting inputs for the special issue of the journal Bothalia: African Biodiversity and Conservation (Wilson et al., 2017); from comments received during the review process; and from other consultative processes where the team presented preliminary findings.

The first part of this chapter presents gaps in information needed to assign values to the indicators outlined in chapter 2 – starting with the high level indicators, then specific indicators for pathways of introduction and dispersal, the status of alien species and areas invaded and then on the effectiveness of interventions (control measures and regulations).

in the second part of this chapter, broader questions beyond the framework developed in chapter 2 are discussed. specifically, gaps and opportunities in enabling processes and other cross-cutting issues are identified.

The chapter ends with a discussion of some of the key gaps that would need to be addressed, and processes that could be followed, for producing future reports.

8.2. GaPS iN PoPuLatiNG the iNdiCatorS for the rePort

8.2.1. high-level indicators

The high-level indicators were developed for use in national-level reporting on the status of biodiversity in south africa. The four high-level indicators are intended to provide simple but informative information on: (a) the pathways of introduction and dispersal, (b) the status of alien species, (c) areas invaded and (d) the effectiveness of interventions (control measures and regulations). The gaps relating to these indicators and proposed solutions are outlined in Table 8.1.

Micropterus dolomieu (smallmouth bass) – cape nature Working for Water employees – b. van Wilgen

ChaPter 8IKnoWledge and informaTion gaPs in undersTanding The sTaTus of biological invasions

tABle 8.1. Data and information gaps relating to high-level indicators on the status of biological invasions.


indiCAtor Current level oF knowledge

And inForMAtion gApS propoSed Solution For SuBSeQuent report

Knowledge of rates of introductions is largely based on observations of alien species post-border, rather than interceptions at border.

it is not always possible to determine dates of introduction based on dates of first record. only data on inputs and not on outputs are recorded.

currently, the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries (daff) is responsible for most surveillance with a focus on agricultural pests and diseases. surveillance by the department of environmental affairs is only done at one of the 72 entry points, and then only during working hours.

an integrated approach with other authorities that report and monitor the introduction of species at ports of entry is needed. alignment by the dea with the daff processes is needed to ensure adequate monitoring and reporting on the rates of introduction of new species, and that relevant interception data with both positive and negative results are curated and included in future reports.

There are few data on the impacts caused by even the most widespread species, and so this indicator cannot be estimated reliably. 

There is generally a dearth of accessible studies documenting impacts of alien species across all taxa.

studies of the impacts on socio-economic issues (e.g. human and animal health, agriculture, livelihoods, values, and food security) are often entirely missing.

There is a need for a system of collating information on impact through formal eicaT and seicaT assessments.

The impacts associated with the most widespread and invasive species need to be confirmed and documented.

The list might change over time, so procedures to obtain the first list are needed.

studies that document impacts of individual invasive species and/or taxa need to be promoted and funded, and in particular to explore taxa other than invasive alien plants.

an integrated and coordinated approach in documenting and undertaking research and management of invasive species with impacts on socio-economic issues is needed.

efforts with other relevant departments where the impacts of invasive species are relevant at national, provincial and local levels [e.g. daff, department of health, department of Water and sanitation (dWs)] need to be aligned and co-ordinated.

There are some data available on the distribution (occurrence) of invasive alien plants and birds at the scale of quarter degree grid cells, but there is limited or no knowledge about the impacts caused by non-plant taxa.

even less is known about the abundance of invasions at sites where the relevant alien species occur. The lack of knowledge about (1) the impacts of individual species, and (2) their abundance precludes any sensible estimate of the area that experiences major impacts.

a systematic approach to documenting the level of non-plant invasions at sites is needed.

monitoring techniques to estimate the extent of invasions and models to go from this to projected impacts need to be developed.

The extent of invasions at the scale of both biophysical (biomes, catchments or ecosystems) and administrative (provincial or municipal) areas need to be documented.

remote sensing tools should be used to provide a broad-scale analysis of areas that are heavily invaded.

d. level of success in

The capacity and understanding exists to measure the degree of control achieved by plant biological control, but currently very little can be said about the effectiveness of other forms of management due to a lack of monitoring.

The effectiveness of the regulations (nem:ba:

alien and invasive species regulations, 2014) has not been assessed as it is too early to do so.

adequate procedures, including goal-setting and monitoring, need to be in place for future assessments of management effectiveness to be meaningful.

an integrated and coordinated approach and alignment with other programmes by other government departments and institutions is needed.

explore options to ensure adequate monitoring data are collected (e.g. clearing contracts are not paid out until there is a documented assessment of performance) The indicator needs to be assessed at different scales and areas and through simulations to explore how responsive it is to different behaviours.

a system of setting up national or local goals and the strategies to achieve these is needed.

Tus of biological invasions and Their managemenT in souTh africa2017

8.2.2. Pathways

This section deals with knowledge and information gaps on the introduction of alien species into the country and dispersal or spread within biomes and political boundaries. The report highlights the fact that aliens continue to get into the country through our 72 official ports of entry, and continue to spread within the country, but the rate at which introductions occur cannot be accurately quantified. There is a need for a monitoring system at ports of entry to reduce the risk of introductions, and a need to understand within-country dispersal across biomes and political boundaries. This also calls for a more integrated and coordinated approach at ports of entry to include efforts by different authorities (e.g. daff and dea).

tABle 8.2 gaps in information and knowledge for pathways of introduction and dispersal.

pAtHwAy indiCAtor Current level oF knowledge And gApS propoSed Solution For SuBSeQuent report 1. introduction

pathway prominence

socio-economic information is required to assess introduction pathway prominence. some of the required data are available from global and local databases.

however, for some of the pathways of introduction these data could not be obtained. unfortunately, these data are often owned by companies or are regarded as sensitive and, therefore, it is often difficult or impossible to obtain the required information. in some instances, large sums of money need to be paid to the companies that own the information to gain access to these data (for an example see faulkner et al., 2017a). finally, for some pathways it is difficult to obtain or collate relevant socio-economic data, simply because the description of the pathway is imprecise (e.g. ‘other intentional release’).

To lessen the gaps in our knowledge on the pathways of introduction and dispersal, research into specific pathways is required, particularly for inconspicuous pathways such as e-commerce (humair et al., 2015). it is important to note that research is currently being undertaken on a number of pathways of introduction, including the pet trade, the traditional medicine trade and the aquarium plant trade. This information needs to be incorporated into subsequent reports.

2. introduction rates To assess introduction rates for the pathways, pathway of introduction and date of introduction data for the species introduced to south africa are required. These data are not available or have not been collated for many alien species, particularly for introduced plants and insects (faulkner et al., 2015). additionally, the dataset used in this assessment (see faulkner et al., 2015) was collated a few years ago, and so data for very recently introduced species [e.g. the marine amphipod Caprella mutica (Japanese skeleton shrimp)] are not included (Peters & robinson, 2017). The pathway of introduction data that are available was in some instances also not of sufficient quality or detail to designate pathways of introduction with certainty.

furthermore, the increased level of detail provided by the pathway categorisation scheme adopted by the cbd (cbd, 2014) has led to an increase in uncertainty when designating pathways of introduction (Tsiamis, cardoso &

gervasini, 2017). This is because the differences between some of the pathway subcategories are unclear (Tsiamis, cardoso & gervasini, 2017). although an effort was made to rate the confidence in the pathway categorisations and in the assessment as a whole, information on the quality and source of the original data (e.g. direct evidence vs.

assumptions based on species traits or knowledge from other regions) are required to better rate confidence, and these data were often not available.

few introduction pathways have been researched in detail, but the work that has been done includes research into the aquatic plant trade (martin & coetzee, 2011), trade in traditional medicine (Wojtasik, 2013; byrne, Williams & Wojtasik, 2017), and the unintentional introduction of contaminants on imported plant cuttings (saccaggi & Pieterse, 2013).

The rates of species introduction into, and spread within, south africa need to be quantified.

one possible extension is to weight pathways according to the consequences of the species introduced, i.e. whether species introduced along a particular pathway led to particularly severe impacts.

for example, in the czech republic species that were introduced intentionally seem to be more likely to have naturalised and become invasive, but invasive taxa that were accidentally introduced tend to be more widespread and have greater impacts, perhaps because they have been preselected for dispersal and competitive traits (Pyšek, Jarošík & Pergl, 2011).

ChaPter 8IKnoWledge and informaTion gaPs in undersTanding The sTaTus of biological invasions

pAtHwAy indiCAtor Current level oF knowledge And gApS propoSed Solution For SuBSeQuent report 3. within-country

pathway prominence

limited knowledge on the spread of invasive species

throughout the country from ports of entry. an assessment of the relative prominence of dispersal pathways within south africa is needed.

4. within-country dispersal rates

data on within-country dispersal have not been collated for alien species in south africa. such information is only available for a few groups of extralimital species [e.g.

amphibians (measey et al., 2017) and fish (Picker &

griffiths, 2017)].

Within-country dispersal rates for the pathways of dispersal should be assessed using data on the pathways and dates of dispersal for introduced species and species that are indigenous to the country but that have been introduced to parts of the country where they are not indigenous (extralimital introductions).

8.2.3. Species

There is a disparity in the amount of information available on species occurrence, distribution and impact between different taxa. for example, the number and extent of occurrence is fairly well known for terrestrial and freshwater plants and for birds, but not for other taxa. There is almost a complete lack of information on the abundance and impact of alien species (Table 8.3).

tABle 8.3 knowledge and information gaps on the status of alien species

SpeCieS indiCAtor Current level oF knowledge And gApS propoSed Solution For SuBSeQuent report

5. number and status of alien species

The numbers of alien terrestrial plant species and vertebrate species are well documented. The number of alien invertebrates, marine species and, especially, microbial species are much less well known. The same applies to introduction status, i.e. alien plant and vertebrate species are relatively well documented compared to other taxa.

however, introduction status is not formally recorded anywhere, so this aspect cannot accurately be summarised and updated.

databases should record introduction status, and the records should be updated regularly.

databases should record introduction status, and the records should be updated regularly.

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