Few individuals or governments have suggested that invasions by nonindigenous species are relevant to the broader issue of human security, despite a growing awareness of the ecological, economic, and societal impacts associated with invasive nonindigenous species (INIS). We propose that by framing management actions in a human and environmental security context, the threats (and benefits) posed by INIS to individuals and communities can be explicitly articulated and debated. This framework allows multiple stakeholders to bring their concerns to bear upon specific policy, and attempts to integrate broad environmental concerns within its parameters. We use the case of ecosystem-based management of invasive nonindigenous plants as an example of the utility of a human security framework. The dominant management approach to these species remains focused on the individual species, despite increasing calls for the implementation of ecosystem-based management strategies. Ecosystem-based management is supported by generalized and widely accepted mechanisms of plant community dynamics, such as succession, disturbance, and interspecific competition, but these scientific arguments do not consistently carry weight at the policy level and with the broader public. A human security framework may provide an approach for overcoming this resistance by placing the debate over management within the social and political context of the wider community. Overall, human security can allow applied ecologists to be better positioned to meet the challenges of communicating the need for science-based management.
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Vol. 2 • No. 2