ISC captures minds in Washington
News Story, 8 March 2012
CABI’s open-access Invasive species Compendium (ISC) recognised as a key encyclopaedic source of knowledge at National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) in Washington D.C.
Speaking at last week’s NISAW, Hilda-Diaz Soltero – Invasive species Co-ordinator for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - outlined the vital role performed by CABI’s ISC. The presentation, in which Ms Soltero reported the federal agencies accomplishments on Invasive species, highlighted the importance of CABI’s ISC as a platform for expert scientific knowledge that informs international organisations and government departments.
Initially formed through collaboration between USDA and CABI to provide a knowledge resource that reduces the impact of invasive species, the compendium has grown to cover all taxa throughout the world. This growth in content has also been mirrored by support for the database, which has seen 27 members across 12 countries join its consortium and secure its continuation as an open-access database for the next five years.
By providing informative datasheets, abstracts and full text articles to indicate the geographic coverage, management strategies and historical outbreaks of over 1,500 invasive species, the ISC aims to disseminate accessible knowledge to all levels of stakeholders from policy makers to field workers. The impacts of invasive species on society are not only limited to the environment. Direct impacts on endemic species cause knock-on ecological effects to surrounding ecosystems and these secondary effects can have drastic impacts on natural resources reducing food production and security to local and international communities. The economic damage caused by invasive species to the global agriculture and forest industries alone is estimated to cost billions of dollars every year.
Elizabeth Dodsworth, Global Director for Knowledge management at CABI, explained the importance of knowledge dissemination:
“The ISC is a great example of how knowledge management systems can communicate the latest scientific research to a network of key stake-holders and we hope the continuation of this open-access service will inform pragmatic solutions over the next five years and beyond.”