For more than 50 yr, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) has made recommendations to its member countries for the protection of plants. In accordance with the revised International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the EPPO aims to prevent the entry and spread of organisms, including invasive alien plants, directly or indirectly harmful to both cultivated and wild plants. It considers damage to both the agricultural and the natural environment. For the assessment, if an invasive alien species can be regulated as a quarantine pest according to the IPPC and for the identification of measures to prevent risks posed to plants, a pest risk analysis should be conducted. Based on the relevant IPPC standards, an EPPO risk assessment scheme applicable to direct plant pests in cultivated land is now being revised in order to be also applicable to potentially invasive plants and to assess the effects that invasive alien species relevant for plants pose to the uncultivated environment. In 2003, the EPPO sent a questionnaire to its 44 member states asking for plants that have been intentionally or unintentionally introduced into EPPO countries and are considered to be listed as invasive. The member states reported hundreds of plant species, of which an initial 40 were selected for further assessment. These assessments may result in recommendations for regulations and measures against the introduction and spread of these or some of these plants. In this article, a description of the recently developing EPPO policy regarding invasive alien species is given by the German member of the EPPO expert panels on Invasive Alien Species and Pest Risk Analysis.
Additional index words: Invasive plants, International Plant Protection Convention, IPPC standards, pest risk analysis, quarantine pest.
Abbreviations: EPPO, European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization; IPPC, International Plant Protection Convention.