28 June 2014 Dr Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Executive Director for International Development, spoke out this week at the 18th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) held on 23-28 June 2014 in Montreal, Canada. He delivered a statement at the meeting and talked about the importance of protecting biodiversity and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by tackling the spread of invasive species.
The SBSTTA was established by Article 25 of the Convention on Biological Diversity as an open-ended intergovernmental scientific advisory body. It provides the Convention’s governing body, the Conference of the Parties (COP), with advice concerning the implementation of the Convention. Speaking at the 5th session on 25 June, Dr. Rangi gave an introductory presentation on the threat that invasive species pose to biodiversity and also to livelihoods, especially in Africa.
He described how millions of people living in Africa rely on natural ecosystems for their food supply and their incomes, and how this natural capital is being eroded by invasive species, such as weeds. His presentation was followed by the screening of CABIs video, The Green Invasion Destroying Livelihoods in Africa. The footage in this video shows the impact of non-native weed infestations on farming communities and how they destroy natural resource bases on which farmers depend.