NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- African
governments should harmonize their laws to safeguard countries from the invasive
species, an expert said on Tuesday.
Byanyima, expert on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) at the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), said many countries have experienced
devastating economic losses due to attacks from invasive pests in the recent
“We need to
have a harmonized law that enables countries to trade in a liberalized economy
and also protect them from invasions by unwanted species,” Byanyima told Xinhua
for a harmonized approach since regulations that are being applied in almost all
countries are not coordinated.
that although most African countries have signed both the World Trade
Organization (WHO) SPS agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
legislation, enforcement is still weak or in some countries lacking.
“As a result,
the weakness has allowed the introduction of Invasive Alien Species at a faster
rate,” she added.
the impacts of the loss on livelihoods undermine the trends made on trade
liberalization in the region.
She urged the
countries to integrate their model and strengthen their bio-security to
safeguard internal and external trade.
Byanyima, COMESA has embarked on strengthening bio-security of Rwanda, Kenya,
Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Burundi with aim of equipping
them to respond to their needs on safeguarding their territories from invasive
noted that the regional economic body has entered into a working relationship
with the Australian government on how best the member countries can leverage
their resources in tackling the general problems.
for investment in agriculture since it is the mainstay of most economies in the
experts, with climate change becoming the biggest challenge in the continent
leading to erratic rainfall patterns and adaptation of crops that survives under
stressful conditions, old pests and diseases, new biological risks and the
invasive alien species are now threatening economies of most countries in the
have referred to invasive alien species coupled with climate change as a “deadly
duo” as they are regarded as one of the biggest threats to plant species.