The state of the current regulatory framework

Dans le document The sTaTus of biological invasions and Their managemenT in souTh africa 2017 (Page 154-157)

7. effeCtiveNeSS of reGuLatioNS

7.2. The state of the current regulatory framework

The status of the current regulatory framework was assessed using the indicator Quality of regulatory framework (see appendix 1 for more details). The indicator is an input indicator that helps to address three questions: 1) what regulatory framework is in place to manage biological invasions; 2) what is its level of completeness (does it cover all aspects of pathways, species, and areas); and 3) what mechanisms are in place to enable its implementation, update, review, and appeal? at a basic level the indicator is meant to provide a country-level assessment of the degree to which authorities are able to regulate the utilisation, movement, and trade of alien species and citizens are able to take steps to control problematic invasive species. at a more advanced level, the indicator can be used to assess the quality of the regulatory framework at lower administrative entities (e.g.

provinces), and also to assess the level of inter-agency co-operation. The quality of the regulations is evaluated as either: none, partial, substantial or complete based on their completeness and the presence of enabling mechanisms for implementation, update, review, and appeal. in this report the nem:ba a&is regulations (2014) were assessed as “substantial” because they deal with most aspects of biological invasions and most mechanisms for implementation, update, review, and appeal are clear. however, pathway specific actions are partly addressed and there are several factors such as the lack of a national strategy to manage biological invasions, organisational and human capacity constraints that may limit the implementation of the regulations (Table 7.2).

tABle 7.2 A breakdown of coverage of the National environmental Management: Biodiversity Act’s Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (2014) across all aspects of biological invasions. This is with reference to indicator 13. Quality of regulatory framework.

ASpeCt oF regulAtionS

ASpeCt oF BiologiCAl invASionS pAtHwAyS

(incl. subcategories) SpeCieS (incl. all taxa)

AreAS (incl. different spatial scales and ownership) is there a mandate for management

interventions? Partial substantial substantial

is there provision for enforcement of

non-compliance? Partial substantial substantial

is there a requirement for regular assessment

of performance, and review? Partial substantial substantial

7.2.1. What is required to improve the effectiveness of the regulations?

Need for pathway-specific management measures. The nem:ba a&is regulations do not specifically regulate pathways but several sections or aspects of the regulations are relevant to the management of some pathways.

for example, the regulations require permits for the import of new species. however, these measures are actually species-specific measures and not pathway management actions. There is therefore a need for the regulations to have pathway specific-management measures, for example the proposed ballast Water act that is specifically meant to prevent the transfer of alien and invasive species into south african waters through the release of ballast water by ships.

Which alien species should be regulated? currently, the nem:ba a&is regulations list 556 taxa as invasive. however, not all of these species are necessarily harmful to the extent that would justify the expenditure of time and effort on their management, given that capacity to manage and to regulate is limited. regulations should therefore arguably focus

ChaPter 7IeffecTiveness of regulaTions

on priority species. The question could be asked whether some of the species that are currently regulated could be removed from the list, and what the procedure for this should be. invasive species have been included in the nem:ba a&is regulations because they are found outside of captivity or cultivation, and are therefore presumed to be harmful. however, it is clear that not all invasive species are equally harmful, and several may be relatively harmless.

Costs

Benefits

0 0 5

5 10

10

Figure 7.1 categorisation of all alien species that are listed under the NeM:BA A&IS Regulations, based on the degree of their negative impacts (costs) and their benefits scaled from 0 (low) to 10 (high). Inconsequential species are those whose costs and benefits are low (lower left cell in diagram). Redrawn from Zengeya et al. (2017).

a recent assessment by Zengeya et al. (2017) suggested that of the 556 listed invasive alien taxa, more than half (304 species) can be categorised broadly as “inconsequential”, meaning that they are currently associated with relatively low costs and low benefits (figure 7.1). The inclusion of these species on the list of regulated species means that their control is compulsory, and that management plans need to be drawn up and implemented by organs of state. removing some of these species from the list of regulated species would free up scarce capacity, and allow both managers and regulators to focus on more harmful species that should arguably receive priority.

Their retention on the list of regulated species arguably ties up scarce capacity in activities that do not deliver the returns on investment that would come from a focus on more harmful species. This aspect deserves more attention, and the species classified as “inconsequential” should receive priority as candidates for risk analysis.

Those found to pose a low risk should be removed from regulated lists. following biological control, several species (including cacti and australian acacias) no longer pose a major threat, and a process for considering their delisting should be instigated. several plant taxa are listed that are not environmental problems [as the lists were brought over from the conservation of agricultural resources act (cara)]. examples of species that could be considered for delisting from the nem:ba a&is regulations are given in henderson & Wilson (2017); Kaplan et al.

(2017); and Zachariades et al. (2017).

The evidence as to why particular species are listed is not available in a consistent, publically accessible and standardised form (see section 7.3.5).

Listing errors. There are some errors with the list of regulated species. These errors include: 1) species that are listed as invasive in the country but there are no records of them in the country, for example, two amphibian taxa [the genus Pelophylax (marsh frogs) and Triturus carnifex (italian crested newt)] (measey et al., 2017) and several marine

Tus of biological invasions and Their managemenT in souTh africa2017

species [Tetrapygus niger (blach sea-urchin), Fenneropenaeus indicus (indian prawn), Ostrea edulis (european flat oyster), Penaeus monodon (giant tiger prawn)] (Tammy robinson, personal communication, 2017); 2) several species that are listed as prohibited are already present in the country, for example Procambarus clarkii (red swamp crayfish) (nunes et al., 2017); and 3) taxonomic issues where whole genera or families are listed instead of species, for example Pelodiscus (chinese softshell terrapins), Trachemys (sliders), Dendrobatidae (poison arrow frogs) and Lantana (all seed-producing species or seed-producing hybrids that are nonindigenous to south africa).

There is a need for a national strategy to manage biological invasions. This assessment has not found any evidence of the strategic use of the regulations to achieve particular goals or priorities. south africa’s national strategy for dealing with biological invasions, finalised in 2013, outlined several recommendations for the cost-effective management of biological invasions in the country. There has, however, not been any progress in the implementation of these recommendations. for example, there is a need to identify and prioritise management interventions that could be more easily achieved with the limited human and financial resources available. a prioritised approach, followed by focussed interventions, would seem to be more likely to deliver positive outcomes, and should be considered.

Organisational capacity. The mandate to manage several aspects of biological invasions is currently fragmented across several government departments and not conflated in a single piece of legislation. The nem:ba a&is regulations are administered by The department of environmental affairs (dea) but there are other acts administered by other departments that are also relevant to the management of biological invasions (see box 7.1). it is not clear the degree to which the approach among the various departments is co-ordinated to avoid duplication of effort and increase efficiency.

Human capacity. national initiatives to manage biological invasions require expertise in numerous disciplines such as natural and social sciences, legal and law enforcement. The capacity of officials in the dea to ensure compliance with the regulations is limited. There are millions of land parcels in south africa, large numbers of people who cultivate, own and trade in listed invasive species, hundreds of regulated species, and large volumes of trade, and numbers of people, passing through south africa’s 72 legal points of exit and entry. There are specific requirements that need to be met, for example the need to develop and implement invasive species management programmes for a suite of priority species and area management plans for priority areas. There does not appear to have been an assessment of the work needed to ensure compliance with the regulations, or the capacity that would be needed to do that effectively, so the magnitude of the capacity shortfall cannot be accurately gauged at present, although it is certainly an issue.

Accessibility of data and information. The regulations specify that the national status report on biological invasions must contain a summary and assessment of the status of listed invasive species and the effectiveness of these regulations and control measures based on several reporting requirements (Table 7.2). however, this information exists in several different databases that are often dispersed and not easily accessible. in addition, these databases were created for different purposes and vary in completeness and information content. such information needs to be accurately collected, subjected to adequate quality control, and safely curated. This can be achieved by developing systems to integrate and archive information from these various sources so that information can be easily accessed and appropriately used.

information regarding the implementation and effectiveness of the regulations was obtained from a variety of sources (Table 7.3).

ChaPter 7IeffecTiveness of regulaTions

tABle 7.3 Sources of data that were used to assess the degree to which the National environmental Management: Biodiversity Act’s Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (2014) were being complied with, with levels of confidence based on the completeness and accuracy of data sets.

SourCe deSCription oF reporting reQuireMent level oF ConFidenCe BASed on CoMpleteneSS

And ACCurACy department of environmental Affairs Permits issued for both alien and listed invasive

species high

Scientific literature invasive species management programmes high

South African national Biodiversity institute;

department of environmental Affairs risk assessments moderate

department of environmental Affairs notifications from landowners high department of environmental Affairs notifications and directives to landowners, and

levels of compliance high

department of environmental Affairs invasive species monitoring, control and eradication Plans (i.e. area management plans) received from organs of state and management authorities of protected areas

high

Dans le document The sTaTus of biological invasions and Their managemenT in souTh africa 2017 (Page 154-157)