9 Potchefstroom Elec. L.J. 1 (2006)

handle is hein.journals/per2006 and id is 1 raw text is: AR PATERSON

CLEARING A PATH TOWARDS EFFECTIVE ALIEN INVASIVE CONTROL:
THE LEGAL CONUNDRUM
AR Paterson*
Bioinvasion is a deeply unsatisfying topic. It is messy, frustrating,
depressing, and unpredictable: it does not lend itself to neat solution.1
I     Introduction
Alien invasive plants (AlPs) pose significant ecological, social and economic
challenges for South Africa. These species threaten South Africa's rich
biodiversity, deplete our scarce water resources, reduce the agricultural
potential of land, cause soil erosion and intensify flooding and fires. According
to recent estimations, over eight percent of land in South Africa has been
invaded by AlPs2 and at current rates of expansion their impact could double in
the next fifteen years.3
The significance of the threat posed by AlPs is recognised in a number of
international4 and regional conventions.5 The South African government has
BSocSci LLB (Cape Town) LLM Environmental Law (Cape Town). Senior Lecturer,
Institute of Marine and Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town. The
article was last updated on 30 January 2006.
1   Bright Life Out of Bounds 2.
2   DEAT Environmental Impacts of Invading Alien Plants in South Africa 2.
3   Wynberg 2002 South African Journal of Science 236-237.
4   See the Convention on Biological Diversity which provides that each contracting party
must prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten
ecosystems, habitats or species (a 8(h)). This provision is detailed in the Guiding
Principles for the Implementation of Article 8(h) (Decision VI/23) which urge state parties
to, amongst other things: create mechanisms to co-ordinate national programmes; review
relevant policies, legislation institutions to identify gaps, inconsistencies and conflicts, and
adjust or develop policies, legislation and institutions as appropriate; and enhance co-
operation between various sectors (par 10(b)-(d)). See further the resolution on Invasive
1/56

PER 2006(l)

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