Invasive alien species
This can involve certain risks. The invasive alien species could:
- harm native biodiversity, for example by taking up space or food of native species or by hunting native species
- transmit diseases
- pose a threat to public health
- cause economic damage
Climate change may exacerbate the problem of invasive alien species, as many survive better in warmer climates.
- Buy native (or non-invasive non-native) plants and animals. Ask for them at the specialist shop or the pond or garden centre.
- Do not dump plants or green waste in nature, but on the compost heap or with the fruit, vegetable and garden waste.
- You cannot just bring any animal or plant into Belgium. Follow the rules of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC).
- In the case of invasive alien species, the government can set up a contact point where you can report the presence of these plants, animals or fungi. You can report sightings of invasive alien species on www.waarnemingen.be/exoten.
- Follow the government's instructions. Appropriate advice will follow.
- There are no specific recommendations.
Impact and probability
In 2018, the National Crisis Center coordinated a large-scale risk assessment for Belgium for the period 2018-2023. Several experts assessed various risks based on their probability and their impact on people, society, the environment and the economy.
For the risk of 'invasive alien species', the analysis is:
- Impact: moderate impact
- Probability: very likely
Read more about this analysis and what this chart means.
What do the authorities do?
Since 2015 there is a European regulation to limit the negative impact of invasive alien species. This regulation focuses on three aspects:
- Prevention: preventing invasive alien species from establishing themselves in our regions, for example by banning trade or ownership.
- Rapid detection and response: a contact point will enable the government to detect new invasive alien species or alien species of concern quickly and respond immediately.
- Management or reduction: managing or reducing invasive alien species already present in our country.
Within the framework of environmental and animal welfare legislation, the regional authorities, the Federal Public Service Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, and the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain monitor compliance with these measures. A cooperation agreement between the competent authorities exists for this purpose. For example, the National Committee, a National Scientific Council and a National Scientific Secretariat on IAS were set up.