CABI has received a grant of $45,750 from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation to publish one of the most complete and current datasets on Invasive Alien Plants (IAP) in Eastern Africa. The project, which is led by Dr Arne Witt, Coordinator: Invasive Species, CABI, will build upon the successful results from a previously awarded JRS grant.

East Africa’s biodiversity is under threat from the spread of Invasive Alien Plants (IAP), which can have a dramatic impact on biodiversity, crop and pasture production, human and animal health, water resources, and economic development, especially in developing countries.

Despite the severity of the threat, in the developing world there is little to no information available about the presence, distribution, or potential impacts of invasive species. The major barriers to effective IAP management include a lack of policy or implementation, a lack of awareness, and limited capacity.

This lack of information can be a barrier to development and implementation of effective management strategies. In much of the developing world there are no invasive species inventories or tools which interested and affected parties can use to identify invasive plants.

The project will help to fill these knowledge gaps in IAP management by cleaning and making available through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility one of Africa’s most complete and current datasets on IAP species. This dataset was collected as part of a prior phase of this project and contains approximately 120,000¬†locality¬†records¬†of¬†IAP species¬†in¬†eastern Africa, Malawi, and Zambia.

JRS press release

JRS issued a press release in relation to this story and it can be viewed here:

For more information on the grant see:

Action on Invasives

This week CABI launched its Action on Invasives programme to improve the farming for 50 million poor households by tackling invasive species. Find out more about CABI’s work on invasive species here:

About CABI

CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Through knowledge sharing and science, CABI helps address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. Our 48 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include development and research projects, scientific publishing and microbial services.

We gratefully acknowledge the core financial support from our member countries and lead agencies including the United Kingdom (Department for International Development), China (Chinese Ministry of Agriculture), Australia (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Netherlands (Directorate-General for International Cooperation), and Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). Other sources of funding include the fees paid by our member countries and profits from our publishing activities which enable CABI to support rural development and scientific research around the world.

About the JRS Biodiversity Foundation

The mission of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation is to increase access to and use of information that will lead to greater biodiversity conservation and more sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2004, the JRS Biodiversity Foundation supports biodiversity data and knowledge tools that are used to preserve biodiversity in developing economies where biodiversity is most threatened. The foundation has awarded $16M in grants since 2007. Visit online at

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