Representatives of ten organizations from four countries – Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal and France – met in November in Nouakchott, Mauritania, to discuss the establishment of a coordinated alert and response network on invasive species in the sub-Saharan region. The workshop also focussed on developing an inventory of exotic and invasive species at the national and regional levels.
Participants agreed that the most dramatic spread observed in the region in the last few years are of aquatic and wetland plants – including water cabbage (Pistia stratiotes), kariba weed (Salvinia molesta) and the common reed (Phragmites australis).
The workshop participants made recommendations for better understanding of the extent of the spread of invasive species, and identified research programmes and actions to limit their impact.
The event, an activity of a project supported by a 2014 GBIF capacity enhancement programme grant, was organized by Ecole Normale Supérieur, host of the GBIF node in Mauritania.