Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in Southeast Asia (AIASSEA) Symposium
National University of Singapore, Singapore 26–27 July 2017
Introduction of invasive alien species (IAS) resulting from anthropogenic removal or bypassing of natural dispersal barriers is a global issue with far-reaching environmental, economic, and human health impacts. In aquatic environments, the frequency and extent of IAS introduction and establishment can often be exacerbated by the intensification of socio-economic activities, particularly introduction pathways that are associated with international trade.
For the biodiverse Southeast Asian region, the impacts of aquatic IAS could worsen in the coming decades with increasing urbanisation and resource exploitation. From an ecological perspective, IAS can impact native communities directly (e.g., predation and competition) and indirectly (e.g., habitat modification, alteration of food web and trophic interactions). Economic impacts of IAS include threats to food security as well as control/management costs and opportunity costs. Human health impacts can be in the form of physical injury or zoonotic diseases.
A general dearth of knowledge of IAS in Southeast Asia, however, has been highlighted. And while there have been some localised studies, substantial gaps (including knowledge of ongoing research) remain that will likely confound efforts to understand, prevent, and manage the introduction, spread, and impacts of IAS particularly at the regional level. The knowledge gap will also likely hamper Southeast Asian countries’ progress towards identification, prioritisation, and control/management of IAS and pathways—a key 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Target (Target 9 under Strategic Goal B) of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/default.shtml#GoalB).
The AIASSEA 2017 symposium aims to bring together leading international and regional reseachers with the overall goal of disseminating and sharing current knowledge, ongoing research, and expertise on aquatic invasive alien species in Southeast Asia.