The Caribbean Invasive Species Working Group (CISWG) was formed following an initiative of the Caribbean Food Crops Society when it held a special 1 day symposium on invasive species at the 39th Annual Meeting in Grenada in 2003. At this session scientists, policy makers and trade specialists from throughout the Greater Caribbean Region discussed the issues caused by introduced pests and pathogens. CISWG is a networking and information sharing facility chaired by CARDI, which has been officially recognised by the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED). CISWG has also been officially recognised by the non CARICOM member governments of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France and the United States of America. The major purposes of CISWG are outlined. The geographical area of interest is all countries in the Caribbean Sea, all countries with borders on the Caribbean Sea, as well as countries in northern South America and the United States of America. Apart from CARDI the other formal members of CISWG are (in no particular order), CARICOM Secretariat, CABI, CIRAD (France), France - Service de la Protection des Végétaux, Direction de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt, Costa Rica Ministry of Agriculture, IDIAF (Dominican Republic), The Nature Conservancy (USA), FAO, IICA, PAHO, USDA/APHIS, University of the West Indies, Florida A&M University, University of Florida, and the University of Puerto Rico. In addition all governments in the Region belonging to the Organisation of American States have been invited to have an official representative for CISWG and many of these have nominated a representative. The first major activity undertaken by CISWG was a workshop held in Trinidad in June 2004 entitled "Facilitating Safer US-Caribbean Trade: Invasive Species Issues." This meeting identified the key issues which were outlined in a document prepared by CISWG entitled "Caribbean Regional Invasive Species Intervention Strategy" - the "CRISIS Document". The CISWG members have developed a project proposal entitled "Caribbean Invasive Species Surveillance and Information Programme" (CISSIP), which consists of four major components and a number of minor components. The major components are (i) Pest Survey and Inspection Programme (PSIP), (ii) Caribbean Regional Diagnostic Network (CRDN), (iii) Invasive Species Information System (ISIS), and (iv) Public Education Programme (PEP). Other current activities underway by CISWG include the coordination of regional efforts to control the Red Palm Mite (Raoiella indica); a Caribbean Pathway Analysis which is examining the pathways taken by invasive species into and within the Region, support for the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum, and also support to an invasive species project pertaining mostly to marine environments, being executed by CABI, and funded by the Global Environment Facility of the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Issue Date:
Jul 13 2008
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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 Record created 2017-04-26, last modified 2018-01-23

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