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Abstract

The threats from invasive species could increase for CARICOM Member States with the increase in movement of people and trade in goods within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and from arrangements for greater liberalisation in the wider Caribbean, the Hemisphere, and in the current international trade arena. The likelihood of increased threats also arises from the aggressive pursuit of tourism by CARICOM countries. Weak sanitary and phytosanitary systems and infrastructure and scarce human and physical resources in CARICOM countries exacerbate this risk. Effective safeguarding cannot be achieved individually and must be based on smart use of the region's resources to formulate policy measures. A mix of policy prescriptions for safeguarding against invasive species in the CSME must be based on a holistic approach to the principles of prevention, eradication and management. Strategies for monitoring and active surveillance which provide early detection for the prevention of the introduction of more invasive species in the Region must be developed. Modernisation of legislation and strengthening of the national capacity and capability of Member States to identify, analyse and take preventative measures must be prioritised at the regional and national levels. Harmonisation and/or convergence of measures, guidelines protocols and laws must occur. Effective partnerships must be fostered among individuals and across all relevant, departments, institutions and organisations at the national, regional and international levels and the public and private sectors must become intimately involved in any safeguarding initiatives with respect to the threats of invasive species. The proposed Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) is intended to take a lead role in the development of policies, programmes and projects that would strengthen the systems and infrastructure of CARICOM Member States thereby instituting some of the much needed safeguards against alien invasive species.

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