1 April 2014 CABI, together with Tmax Productions, have produced a video called the Green Invasion Destroying Livelihoods in Africa. The short film (approx. 7mins long) details how invasive weeds are impacting on the lives of rural communities in East Africa.
Although a large number of non-native species have become invasive in the region, this film focusses on four of the most problematic species, namely: Chromolaena odorata (Devil weed), Parthenium hysterophorus (Famine weed), Prosopis juliflora (Mathenge) and Opuntia stricta (Australian pest pear a type of Prickly pear). The excellent footage shows the extent of weed infestations with accounts from community members on how they are destroying the natural resource base on which they depend. It is clear that invasive plants are destroying traditions, cultures and a way of life for millions of people on the continent.
However, all is not lost. The film notes that if effective management programmes are implemented, including biological control, we can make a difference to many peoples lives.
Although of general interest, the film is intended to raise the profile of invasive species and its impacts on livelihoods amongst donors and governments. We need them to take action and provide support for initiatives to manage one of the biggest threats to economic development on the planet.
See CABI’s other invasive species activities.