IMPACT OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES AND GENDER
Keywords:Alien Species, Biodiversity, Gender, Livelihoods, Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries
Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is considered the second major cause of biodiversity loss and habitat degradation. They pose a serious threat to different ecosystems of Nepal such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and natural systems. Invasive alien species affect people's livelihoods and human well-being.
Some species are important sources of fuel wood, fodder, timber and food products for local households and communities. Similarly, some species hold cultural, spiritual and recreational significance. In contrast, they also harm livelihoods and increase vulnerability via land encroachment and reduction in mobility or access. In some cases, they also diminish the abundance of natural resources used by households and reduce agricultural production. This results in a loss of their income and increases vulnerability. Furthermore, some invasive species have also negative implications on human health and safety. Likewise, they are responsible for reducing the cultural value of landscapes.
Invasive Alien Species are well-recognized drivers of social-ecological change. Extensive research on invasive species in Nepal has yet to be done. Therefore, the impact of invasive species on livelihoods and human well-being is a lesser-known concept. The effect of benefits and costs analysis of invasive species on livelihoods and human well-being remains pivotal for policy-making and management. This article is based on the development of a comprehensive national strategy and plan of action to control and manage IAS in Nepal. It discusses the broader aspect and status of IAS in Nepal.
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