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Les espèces envahissantes dans l’archipel néo-calédonien

 | 
Marie-Laure Beauvais
, 
Alain Coléno
, 
Hervé Jourdan

Part one. Synthesis and recommendations

Appendix 1. Specifications of the expert group review

Texte intégral

INTRODUCTION

1The New Caledonia archipelago has particularities that must be taken into account in each of the papers written for the review: its nature as a group of islands, its subtropical climate, its cultural diversity, the different situations of its different provinces, its institutional situation and the fact that it possesses 0.5 % of world biodiversity.

Background

  1. Regional and international mobilisation against invasions by alien species (initiatives by authorities, scientists, the IUCN, position of New Caledonia (NC) compared to regional South Pacific strategy, project to integrate NC in French national biodiversity plan);
  2. Species introductions: trials and tribulations;
  3. Facts about phytosanitary border controls, inadequacy of environmental hazard controls;

Scope of the analysis

  • The client body’s definition: “an invasive species is an alien (exotic, exogenous, imported) species whose accidental or intentional introduction and proliferation in natural or semi-natural environments causes or is liable to cause damage in the New Caledonia archipelago”. This definition excludes from the scope of the review local species that develop invasive behaviour (e.g. niaouli and lorikeets). It highlights the fact that proliferation is difficult or impossible to control (adapted from the IUCN definition).
  • Restricted to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.
  • As regards pathogens, restricted to biological vectors.

AIMS OF THE REVIEW

2Suggest the component elements of a suitable, efficient biosecurity system for New Caledonia, based on a scientifically sound analysis:

  • of biosecurity systems in the South Pacific;
  • of the risks connected with the introduction and proliferation of alien species in New Caledonia.

ELEMENTS OF THE REVIEW

Biological aspects

  1. Analysis of the situation regarding invasive alien species (IAS) now present in NC or liable to arrive there: inventory.
  2. Typology of potential risks (critical analysis of classification and prioritisation criteria, analysis of entry pathways, risk assessment) for establishing positive lists for NC.
  3. Specifications for authorised introduction.
  4. Critical analysis of technical factors to be taken into account in biosecurity systems (prevention, surveillance, eradication, control).
  5. Definition of tools for environmental impact assessment: applicability to IASs and the various ecological situations in New Caledonia.

Socio-economic and regulatory aspects

  1. Analysis of communication about IAS-related risks (or a comparable subject).
    • Study of two communication campaigns relevant to New Caledonia’s particular features (e.g. culturally diverse archipelago). One of these two campaigns must have been the subject of an impact study.
    • Construction of a field analysis grid applicable to NC (information vectors, risk perception and acceptability, conditions for success or failure in setting up a collective system).
  2. Comparative study of some legal and regulatory systems in use in island groups.
    • Highlight the essential characteristics of a biosecurity system (structure, coordination, functioning, cost, crisis management) taking into account the institutional situation in New Caledonia and the interactions between NC and the outside world, but also relations between the provinces.
    • Financing methods.
  3. Analysis of criteria for constructing a cost-benefit analysis applied to environmental risk, adapted to each IAS and to the various ecological situations (Grande-Terre and Loyalty Islands)

Conditions for the efficacy of a New Caledonian biosecurity system

  1. Responsiveness / inertia.
  2. Sharing/concentration of competencies (technology, missions, funding).
  3. Emergency plans.

Feasibility of a prospective study based on scenarios

  1. Simulation of an IAS introduction (fire ant) and proliferation (miconia) in Grande-Terre and the Loyalty Islands.
  2. Cost-benefit analysis.

3For this study, it is mandatory to have a local reference expert in each case.

THE EXPERTS’ WORK PLAN

Inventory

4Question 1: Are all the islands of New Caledonia affected by biological invasions in the same way? Question addressed by analysing several taxonomic groups.

5Question 2: What potentially invasive plant or animal species currently constitute major environmental threats to New Caledonia?

Assessment of environmental and socio-economic risks and consequences of intentional or unintentional species introductions

6Question 3: For species identified as dangerous under Question 2, which local characteristics (of the environment or of the surveillance system) are crucial for assessing the probability of invasion into New Caledonia? This question requires a description of a succession of events leading to invasion of an ecosystem? intentional or unintentional import, establishment, sustainable spread, etc.? and identification of possible control points at each stage of the process.

7NB: take into account the islands’ end-of-the-line situation in relation to Grande-Terre.

8Question 4: How can the likely consequences for the environment of an uncontrolled introduction be assessed? Start from cases of known, documented invasions in the Pacific. Examples: black rat (Loyalty Islands Province), fire ant and miconia (Tahiti).

9Question 5: Analysis of common ways of profiting from environmental goods as public goods (non-marketable services). Then differentiate the different types of costs associated with invasive species: direct costs, loss of biodiversity, prevention and control costs. Discuss the options to be considered (from the literature) in terms of cost sharing between the parties concerned (business, authorities, transporters, end consumers etc.)

10NB: take into account the islands’ end-of-the-line situation in relation to Grande-Terre.

11Question 6: On what basis and in what way should a cost-benefit analysis incorporating different introduction scenarios be conducted, to provide the basis for a rational control policy? Discuss how such an analysis might be applied to the decision to authorise imports of a potentially invasive species such as the Australian tree fern (an ornamental plant).

Critical analysis of control measures and intervention methods

12Question 7: What are the elements of a system for detection and surveillance after introduction? Can the efficacy of such a system be assessed?

13Question 8: What eradication or management measures have already been taken (or experimented with) that express this potential? Can their efficacy be assessed?

14Question 9: Given all the above information, is it possible to draw up a table of the risks for New Caledonia?

Biosecurity, analysis and proposals

15Question 10: Analyse the relevance of some biosecurity systems already set up in Pacific countries to protect against invasive species. Describe their technical, legal and organisational characteristics.

16On what criteria, or in what way, can one assess the aptitude of a candidate species to become invasive?

17In Pacific islands where there are not yet any IASs, what measures have been adopted to prevent their introduction? Can one analyse the relevance and efficacy of these measures? Case study: insects (Hawaii).

18The proposals must take into account the different possible entry pathways to each island and province of the New Caledonian archipelago.

19Question 11: Analyse the New Caledonian system in the same way.

20Question 12: Make all possible suggestions regarding the pertinence, consistency, structure and functioning of this system.

Communicating about the risk

21Question 13: Brief presentation of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of using communication and training campaigns as opposed to regulations, for reducing environmental hazards. Analyse the conditions for effectiveness for different types of campaign, according to the types of warning issued, the target groups, dissemination vectors and information relays.

22Question 14: Present the goals of communication and risk awareness campaigns concerning invasive species, particularly in the Pacific. Specify the ways and means employed and, if applicable, the performance of campaigns (differentiated by site, geographical zone etc.), and how and to what extent they take cultural and community aspects into account.

23Question 15: Analyse two communication campaigns in New Caledonia intended to raise local people’s awareness of environmental or health risks, and draw conclusions for New Caledonia’s particular situation. One of the two studies must have been the subject of an impact study.

24Question 16: According to the findings presented in response to questions 13, 14 and 15, construct an analysis grid that can be used to set up field analysis in New Caledonia. The field analyse itself will not be conducted as part of the expert group review. Make suggestions about the way in which information messages might be structured so as to be pertinent and have a real impact, changing people’s behaviour and getting the New Caledonian population involved.

NEW CALEDONIA AND INVASIVE SPECIES

Map 3. Provinces of New Caledonia

Southern Province
Measures against invasive species are among the great environmental protection challenges the Southern Province has identified. It is a problem that fully justifies coordination and joint effort among the authorities concerned. Southern Province has provided the impetus for establishing a coordination and consultation structure among the provinces, the New Caledonia government and the French state, assisted by scientific experts from research bodies working in New Caledonia.
Southern Province now wishes to be involved in a coordinated, operational programme to set up resources to protect against invasive species and control those already established.
For this purpose Southern Province, along with New Caledonia’s other public authorities, wishes to have at its disposal an account of current knowledge on this subject through this expert group review.
Southern Province is already involved in the field. It has financed rat eradication programmes to protect seabirds on small islands and since 2005 has been conducting a campaign against miconia (through contractors). Numerous studies have been commissioned to measure the impact on the natural environment of invasive species such as the rusa deer, and communication materials are produced to raise public awareness of the dangers of particular species _ invasive ants, aquarium fish, terrapins etc.
Rural economic development and employment is a priority in Southern Province. The investment code for this sector was completely rewritten in 2005 as a single, simplified bill that was passed unanimously by the province Assembly. It is based (a) on zoning to encourage young farmers to set up in inland communes, (b) on irrigation schemes and lands held under customary law, and (c) on additional premiums according to the type of project initiator (young people, cooperatives) or the status of the product chain (priority, open, saturated). Alongside this new investment code, the rural development department has been reorganised around three main missions: technical support and management advice to farmers, research and surveys to ensure local development, and management of subsidies. These goals are governed by the concern for eco-friendly, health-friendly development; integrated organic crop production and the application of health and environmental standards are part of the technical protocols the province supports financially.

Northern Province
Although it is further from the potential pathways of contamination by invasive species, Northern Province is concerned about invasive plants and animals. Northern Province is thinly populated, which means that the countryside is less closely observed and invasive species can relatively easily get established in out-of-the-way corners.
Northern Province is also a largely rural province and much of the population lives to some extent from farming, hunting and gathering wild foods, either commercially or for self-consumption. So monopolisation of land by an invasive species, or direct or indirect damage that makes land unfit to farm, would therefore have a direct and immediate impact on the quality of life of the province’s inhabitants.
Issues on which Northern Province is planning or has already begun operations are the impact of rodents – especially on birds, reptiles and amphibians – and attempts to control deliberately introduced mammals (feral animals, deer and pigs). Biological invasions are no respecters of man’s administrative boundaries, but as man increasingly becomes the main vector of dissemination, the question of invasive species is becoming a central question for protecting our natural heritage and quality of life.

Loyalty Islands Province
In 2001 the Executive of Loyalty Islands Province validated the master plan recommending a shift towards eco-friendly farming, in order to preserve the quality of the freshwater lens.
This orientation is guided by human, social and ecological concerns. Since then, Loyalty Islands Province has sought to ensure that all development tools – training, research and farmer installation aids – are guided by this policy. The whole population of the Loyalty Islands, and particularly the people on Lifou and Maré, are aware of how fragile the quality of the freshwater lens is, because they drink it. Large budgets are earmarked for practical implementation of eco-friendly actions. Not only are the Loyalty Islands an archipelago within an archipelago so doubly isolated, this choice of eco-friendly, sustainable development makes them all the more vulnerable to any accidental introduction of invasive species. The problem of the introduction of invasive species must take account not only of the fragility of the ecosystems but also of the Loyalty Islands’ choice of direction for the development and organisation of its farming systems.

Government of New Caledonia
New Caledonia has a particularly healthy environment, farm produce that brings considerable income into rural areas, and an abundance of biodiversity and endemism that are recognised the world over.
Faced with the threat of invasive species and the damage they could cause, the government supports the initiative of the provinces in commissioning an expert group review on invasive species in New Caledonia. The deliverables produced should enable the authorities, each in their sphere of competence, to organise and structure themselves so that they can conduct rational, concerted operations to prevent the introduction of invasive species and if necessary to control their spread once established.
Under the powers conferred on New Caledonia under the Nouméa agreement, the government has already committed to adapting its biosecurity regulations to changes in trade flows. This reinforcement of border measures is intended to protect the islands’ present health status and protect New Caledonia’s natural and economic advantages by preventing the introduction of invasive species.
The provinces, which are the authorities responsible for development and the environment and are organised for carrying out local level missions, have a major role to play in establishing and operating a system of concerted action.

Table des illustrations

Légende Map 3. Provinces of New Caledonia
URL http://books.openedition.org/irdeditions/docannexe/image/7652/img-1.jpg
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