Invasive plant and animals are one of the greatest threats against the biological diversity, second only to the effects of habitat destruction and fragmentation. Prevention is indeed easier and much cheaper than cure. The successful invasion by alien species is almost irreversible, because most invasive alien species have succeeded in spreading in large numbers before they have been observed. And it becomes almost impossible and certainly very costly to eliminate them. However, species know of no borders and this makes international collaboration essential.

The European Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS) was established as a network between authorities of the region. The network was initiated with funding by the Nordic Council of Ministers. One of the main goals is to provide tools for implementing the precautionary approach against the unintentional dispersal of invasive alien species. It also establishes regional cooperation to aid countries in eradication, control and mitigation of these species.

The establishment of NOBANIS was a response to the recommendations that came out of the Convention on Biological Diversity´┐Żs 6th meeting of the Conference of Parties in 2002. At that meeting, invasive alien species were made a priority and it was recognised that collaboration on this problem needed to be at both national and international levels.

The NOBANIS network has a national focal point in each of the participating countries - Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway (incl. Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the European part of Russia. The network has grown over time, and more countries are expected to join in the future.

The participating countries have all agreed to a set of Terms of Reference

Easy access to information
We have developed a portal with access to information about the alien and invasive species of the region. This includes a central database with updated information from all the countries participating in NOBANIS, factsheets of the most invasive species in the region, access to an identification key to marine invasive species, newsletters, a species alert function for new invasive species to the region, an invasive species photo bank, and information about the national legislation on invasive alien species in the region.

The database of alien species in NOBANIS will be used to identify species that are invasive at present and species that may in the future become invasive. The database also provides information on how the species is introduced, its distribution in the region, what habitats it may inhabit, what ecological and socio-economical effects it may have and references to relevant literature.

How to join NOBANIS
The NOBANIS network is always interested in expanding and include more countries for information sharing in Europe. please contact the secretariat for further information.