You are here: Home / Projects / Action on Invasives

Action on Invasives

CABI’s global Action on Invasives programme aims to protect and improve the livelihoods of rural communities through an environmentally sustainable, regional, and cross-sectoral approach to managing invasive species.

Project Overview

So, what’s the problem

The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods. By destroying livelihoods, they undermine economic growth and contribute to economic migration. The threat posed by invasives is not limited to agriculture or biodiversity – they have a significant impact on almost all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What is this project doing?

Action on Invasives adopts a systems-based approach to managing biological invasions across sectors in three stages:

  • Prevention: developing and implementing biosecurity policies to prevent the arrival and spread of invasive species and raising awareness of potential threats at a local level

  • Early detection and rapid response: building capacity to develop and implement surveillance and emergency action plans for detecting and eradicating new invasions

  • Control: scaling up existing invasive species management solutions; embedding control options in policy; and making sure that those living in rural communities have access to best practice and locally adapted solutions and are actively engaged in their implementation

Action on Invasives brings together CABI’s 100-year track record in invasive species management, strengthening of plant health systems, and delivery of practical and authoritative knowledge and solutions into the hands of everyone affected – from farmers to policy-makers.

For more information about the programme, visit 


Action on Invasives worked in selected countries considered to be focal points, from where activities could then be regionalized. The first participating countries were Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan and Zambia, and in 2019 activities were initiated in Rwanda and Bangladesh. In 2020, some activities were initiated in Burkina Faso.

Focus species included fall armyworm (FAW), tomato pinworm, parthenium, papaya mealybug, Prosopis juliflora, fusarium wilt, apple snail and the desert locust.

Action on Invasives was designed to enable countries and regions to adopt the three-staged approach through four interrelated work packages:

  1. Stakeholder Engagement – Fostering the Right Partnerships
  2. Best Practice Solutions – For Prevention, Control and Mitigation
  3. Community Action – Bringing Information and Action to Scale
  4. Knowledge and Data – Creating and Using Information

Programme highlights:

Stakeholder Engagement

Fostering linkages and partnerships through which policy, plans and practices can be developed and implemented.

  • 2 national invasive strategies being implemented
  • 1 regional strategy developed
  • 6 species response plans being implemented
  • 2 national invasives coordination mechanisms established
  • 4 companies facilitated to register lower-risk control products
  • 3 sets of biological control regulations developed/supported
  • 8 evidence notes published on impacts and management of invasives

Best Practice Solutions

Delivering technologies and methods for risk assessment, diagnostics, surveillance and control.

  • 3 horizon scanning exercises conducted
  • 6 surveillance programmes conducted
  • 13 countries’ FAW samples identified
  • 8 FAW Integrated Pest Management methods tested
  • 6 FAW biocontrol agents assessed
  • 3 parthenium agents assessed
  • 3 biocontrol agent species shipped

Community Action

Adapting best practice solutions to local contexts and needs.

  • 3m people reached
  • 192 communities supported in Pakistan
  • 18 community trials in Africa
  • 15 communication campaigns conducted
  • 11 household assessments undertaken

Knowledge and Data

Creating and availing information tools and resources.

In 2021, Action on Invasives merged into CABI’s new global programme, PlantwisePlus where major elements of Action on Invasives will become part of PlantwisePlus.

A number of publications have been published as part of the Action on Invasives programme. You can view these here, Annual Reports can also be downloaded below in the Documents section.

Project Manager

Roger Day

Global Advisor, Plant Health

Canary Bird, 673 Limuru Road, Nairobi, Kenya


National and regional partners in target regions; international research and development organisations

Stories of impact

Rooting out parthenium weed in Pakistan

View Impact Story