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Invasive alien species

Invasive alien species are one of the five main direct drivers of biodiversity loss. Besides inflicting major damage to nature and the economy, many invasive alien species also facilitate the outbreak and spread of infectious diseases, posing a threat to humans and native wildlife. The rate of new introductions of invasive alien species has increased in recent years. Without effective control measures, risks to our nature and health will continue to rise. Climate change and land-use changes facilitate the spread and establishment of many alien species and create new opportunities for them to become invasive. This topic is therefore contributing to the adaptation to climate change.

Regulation (EU) 1143/2014 on invasive alien species (IAS) entered into force on 1 January 2015. It establishes a list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list). The IAS Regulation provides for a set of measures to be taken across the EU in relation to invasive alien species included on the Union list. EASIN (European Alien Species Information Network) facilitates information on Alien Species and officially supports the EU Regulation 1143/2014.

Successful proposals should:

  • Develop models based on dynamic data, accessible to end users, to prioritise species, manage pathways and sites most vulnerable by the introduction of invasive alien species;
  • Develop methods for the identification, early detection and surveillance of invasive alien species, such as sensors for biophysical signals (sounds, ultrasounds, volatile organic compounds, thermal etc.), DNA-based including barcoding and application of environmental DNA, artificial intelligence, sentinel plants in ports, airports, railway stations, and logistics platforms. The use of robotics (both aerial and non-aerial), especially in marine environments, could be considered.

Proposals should address Area A: terrestrial ecosystems or Area B: aquatic (including marine) ecosystems. The Area should be clearly indicated on the application.

Proposals should build synergies with on-going projects supported under Horizon 2020 and other projects supported under Horizon Europe. The project “Natural Intelligence for Robotic Monitoring of Habitat” could provide hints about the usage of mobile robotic sensors.

Cross-articulation with the other data spaces, and notably with the European Open Science Cloud shall be foreseen, exploiting synergies and complementarities of the different approaches.

Participatory approaches, such as citizen science, could be appropriate modes of research for this action.

In area B in particular, projects results funded under the following topics should be considered: HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-03: Understanding and valuing coastal and marine biodiversity and ecosystems services, Topic HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-04: Assess and predict integrated impacts of cumulative direct and indirect stressors on coastal and marine biodiversity, ecosystems and their services and HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-01-01: Observing and mapping biodiversity and ecosystems, with particular focus on coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition, in area B, projects should coordinate their activities with objective 1 of the Mission “Restore our ocean and waters”.

Proposals should include specific tasks and allocate sufficient resources to coordinate with existing platforms and information sharing mechanisms, in particular the EC Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity. Collaboration with the European partnership on biodiversity Biodiversa+ should be explored, as needed.

This topic should involve contributions from the social sciences and humanities disciplines.

The possible participation of the JRC in the project would ensure that the approach proposed is compatible with the IAS policy implementation and that data and information generated is shared through EASIN.

International cooperation is encouraged.