Managing Invasive Alien Plants

Urgent On-The-Ground Skills

Invasive alien species (IAS) are species which have been introduced and/or spread beyond their natural distribution. They can lead to substantial environmental and economic damage, and their negative effects are exacerbated by factors such as climate change, pollution, habitat loss and human-induced disturbance.

IAS pose a threat to biodiversity because domination by a few invasive species increases global homogenization of biodiversity, and thereby reduces local diversity and distinctiveness.

The urgent need to manage the invasive alien plants (IAPs) that threaten the unique biodiversity of Tanzania’s East Usambara Mountains put TBA specialist training at the heart of a Darwin Initiative Project to find long-term solutions to this conservation challenge.

Useful Information


Course Report

A series of workshops held over three years provided conservation scientists with practical skills in surveying, monitoring, risk assessment and management strategies. The Project provided a benchmark for IAP management in East Africa.

Tanzanian conservation biologists learnt up to date techniques in the risk assessment of invasive alien plant species (IAPs). Specifically, the training served to

  • illustrate the concept of risk assessment
  • provide instruction in the use of software for the analysis of the different types of risk posed by invasive plants
  • illustrate ways of developing priority lists and management goals for invasive alien plants
  • boost attendees’ understanding of invasive plant species ecology and management
  • build institutional capacity as new skills are transferred after the workshop
  • catalyse links between ecologists working on invasive species
    As a result of the training, participants were appointed to roles where they were able to immediately implement their knowledge and expertise in responding to IAPs, and many have continued to conduct research and management trials.

    Other outcomes include establishing professional networks, greater institutional awareness of IAPs, and the commitment of government and local organisations; all of which are significant achievements

    What Our Attendees Say

    “This project has had a major impact on Tanzania’s awareness of – and capacity to identify, monitor and manage – IAPs, largely through a very successful series of workshops targeted at a large number of appropriate trainees.”
    Workshop Participant