Executive Order Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species reaffirms the governmental administrative position that the country should focus on preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of invasive species, as well as to work to eradicate and control established populations.
The Obama order updates Executive Order 13112 issued by the Clinton Administration in 1999 that created the National Invasive Species Council within the Department of Interior among other actions. Invasive species within Executive Order 13112 are defined as “with regard to a particular ecosystem, a non-native organism whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human, animal or plant health.” The order further defines non-native/alien species as “with respect to a particular ecosystem, an organism, including its seed, eggs, spores or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that occurs outside of its natural range.”
The Obama order adds to the original Executive Order provisions “for the restoration of native species, ecosystems and other assets that have been [harmed] by invasive species.” The order instructs the National Invasive Species Council to conduct an assessment by 2020.
Invasive species of plants, animals and pests cost the country billions of dollars in lost revenue, disrupted local ecologies and cleanup costs. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London says there are now 4,979 documented invasive plants species worldwide.