In order to meet the challenge posed by invasive alien species (IAS) and know the risks that they pose to biodiversity, it is imperative to precisely know the biology of the animal or the plant and its ability to settle in Belgium.

Evaluation of the risks

Risk assessments are carried out at national scale by Member States that can put forward aaditional species for inclusion on the list of Union concern. Risk assessments identify the significance of adverse impacts these species may pose on native species and related ecosystem services, as well as on human health and the economy.

These analyses are first examined at European level by scientists from the Member States together in the European Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species created by the Regulation.

Then, they are examined at the political level by the Member States together at the European Committee of Invasive Alien Species that decides to include them (or not) in the list of species having been the subject of risks evaluation.

In Belgium, proposing to addition of a species to the Union list consist of several steps. The National Scientific Council on IAS provides scientific advice to the National Committee for IAS. The latter proposes Belgian positions to the Inter-ministerial Conference for the Environment (ICE). The ICE then takes the final decision on behalf of Belgium for the proposed species to be introduced to the Union list.

DG Environment of the FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, in cooperation with the Regions, has participated in the risk assessment of several species. Certain assessments have been proposed at European level for addition in the list of species of Union concern.