Convention on the Conservation

of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No 141 (2009) of the Standing Committee, adopted on 26 November 2009, on potentially invasive alien plants being used as biofuel crops

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the Convention;

Recalling that under Article 11, paragraph 2.b of the Convention, each Contracting Party undertakes to strictly control the introduction of non-native species;

Recalling Recommendation No. 99 (2003) of the Standing Committee on the European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (IAS);

Noting that the surface of agricultural land used for biofuel crops is likely to increase in the next years and worried that the increase in the number of species used as biofuel crops may lead to some of them escaping cultivation and becoming invasive alien species, with negative effects on native biological diversity;

Aware that some rural development plans contemplate the use of species which are already invasive in different regions of Europe;

Recommends Contracting Parties to the Convention and invites Observer States to:

1.    avoid the use as biofuel crops of  species which are already recognised as invasive in the proposed planting region ;

2.    screen for invasiveness new species and genotypes to be used as biofuel crops, carrying out the necessary risk assessments, including risk analysis of cross-pollination with wild relatives and habitat vulnerability;

3.    monitor for possible spread of biofuel crops into natural habitats and their effects on species and habitats protected under the Convention;

4.    wherever the species used as biofuel crop is proved to escape cultivation and have an effect on the natural environment, introduce appropriate mitigation measures to minimise its spread and impact on native biological diversity.