* Public Consultation Notice: Ireland’s Invasive Alien Species Soil and Stone Pathway Action Plan 2023 – 2027 

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage are inviting any interested parties (e.g., individual persons, group, or public body) to provide comments and make submissions on ‘Ireland’s Invasive Alien Species Soil and Stone Pathway Action Plan 2023 – 2027’.

To assist you with your submission, a public consultation background document on the draft pathway action plan can be found under the heading ‘Documents’ below.
You do not have to comment on the whole plan. If you have a specific area of interest or an action that may be of most relevance to you, you are free to respond just on that topic.

Notice on the public consultation of the Pathway Action Plan is also published on the following government webpages:


Ireland’s Invasive Alien Species Soil and Stone Pathway Action Plan 2023 – 2027 (DRAFT)

Public Consultation – Background Document

Public Consultation – Privacy Statement

Making your submission

Observations, views and comments can be submitted by email to the National Parks and Wildlife Service at: [email protected].

Deadline for making your submission

All submissions must be entered by the deadline of 6pm on Thursday 1 June 2023.


As part of the public consultation process, a webinar event introducing the pathway action plan and with an opportunity for questions and answers will be given on Wednesday 10th May 2023 from 10am to 11:30pm.

The MS Teams event is hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre with Colette O’Flynn – Invasive Species Officer, presenting.

This is an open webinar event so anyone with the link can join.

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 390 043 938 73
Passcode: GQQEak

Download Teams | Join on the web

Learn More | Meeting options

Terms and conditions

All comments submitted to the Department are subject to release under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 and the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007-2014. Comments are also subject to Data Protection legislation. Please see Privacy Statement under the documents section for more details.
Comments involving allegations of any kind against a named or otherwise identifiable person or organisation may be viewed as defamatory by the subject of the comments. Those making submissions may be sued directly for any defamatory allegations in a submission and should avoid making such allegations.
Submissions will not be published in full, but excerpts may be used in the Submissions Report. As submissions will not be published in full, please be aware that those making submissions may be lobbying under the terms of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015. Consequently, they may be subject to criminal sanctions if they fail to register the activity. People making submissions can check if they are lobbying at: www.lobbying.ie/help-resources/information-for-lobbyists/am-i-lobbying


Ireland’s Pathway Action Plans

With increased movement of people and goods around the world, there is an increased introduction of alien (non-native) species to new areas where they can become invasive.  Therefore actions to help reduce the risk of further introductions is required. Key to this, is knowing how the invasive species are likely to be introduced and acting to prevent further introductions through those pathways.

Pathways are the routes and mechanisms of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (IAS).

The purpose of Pathway Action Plans (PAPs) is to prevent or minimize the risk posed by the pathways using measures such as raising public awareness and setting out actions to prevent unintentional introductions by minimizing the contamination of goods, commodities, vehicles, and equipment by invasive alien species, and ensuring appropriate border checks.

Three pathway action plans are a priority for development in Ireland for the following pathways:

These Pathway Action Plans (PAPs) are three in a series of plans that will be developed  to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of invasive alien species in Ireland.

The final pathway action plans for Angling and for Recreational Boating and Watercraft are published and can be viewed by clicking on the below images. Also available is a synopsis brochure for each of the pathway action plans.

Each plan was drafted by a supporting Working Group chaired by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and were made available for public consultation from 09 December 2021 to 04 February 2022.  Click here to view the Submissions Report.

Final Angling Pathway Action Plan 2022 – 2027 Full text
Synopsis of Ireland’s IAS Angling Pathway Action Plan 2022-2027 (5 pages)
Final Recreational Boating & Watercraft Pathway Action Plan 2022 – 2027 Full text
Synopsis of Ireland’s IAS Recreational Boating & Waterwraft Pathway Action Plan 2022-2027 (5 pages)








Background information

With increased globalization there is an increase in the movement of non-native species around the world (Hulme, 2009). Numerous non-native species, many introduced only in the last 200 years, have become successfully established over large areas of Europe (Hulme et al, 2009). Furthermore, biological invasions are widely expected to become a greater problem in the future (Lodge et al, 2006; Sutherland, 2008). Research by the European Commission funded DAISIE project, showed that non-native species are invading Europe at an unprecedented rate. 10,822 non-native species are listed for Europe of which 10-15% are expected to have a negative economic or ecological impact (European Commission, 2008). This is mirrored by recent trend analysis of non-native species introductions for Ireland where 13% of the species recorded and assessed in Ireland are high impact invasive species (O’Flynn et al, 2014). The trend analyses also showed that 4 times as many species were recorded in the 20th Century as in the previous one with the trend of introductions increasing dramatically from 2001 to 2010 for high impact invasive species. Actions to help prevent further introductions is required.

As there are likely to be a multitude of introduction pathways for very many non-native species, prioritizing those pathways that are likely to introduce most invasive species with potential to have the highest impact, is the most effective way to target limited resources to have the greatest preventative effect.

EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species and pathway action plans

The EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species [1] entered into force on 1st January 2015. This Regulation is based on the Convention of Biological Diversity’s Guiding Principles of prevention, prioritization and coordination and seeks to address the problem of Invasive alien species in a comprehensive manner. The objective is to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as to minimize and mitigate the human health or economic impacts that these species can have.

Core to the Regulation is a list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern for which a general ban from the European Union including restrictions on introduction, transport, trade, keeping, breeding and release into the environment, is established. Other obligations also apply including notification of new occurrences, rapid eradication or management of species, establishment of surveillance systems and, adoption of action plans on the priority unintentional pathways for the IAS of Union concern.  For a species to be listed it must satisfy certain criteria of the Regulation and be based on risk assessment which includes a description of the potential pathways of introduction and spread, both intentional and unintentional.  Once a species is listed as an Invasive Alien Species of Union concern, various articles of the Regulation are implemented in a phased manner within given timeframes. Currently, there are 66 listed Invasive Alien Species of Union concern.

Under Article 13(1) of the EU Regulation on IAS, Member States are required to carry out comprehensive analysis of the pathways of unintentional introduction and spread of invasive alien species and ‘identify the pathways which require priority action because of the volume of species or of the potential damage caused by the species entering the Union through those pathways’. By analysing the risk of each of the IAS of Union concern being introduced and spread in Ireland with the potential impact they may have, the associated pathways are ranked and prioritized. For the priority pathways, Pathway Action Plans are developed

The Article 13 requirement for development of pathway action plans is in line with the international Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2010 Aichi Target 9 (CBD, 2010) and the similar European Commission’s Target 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 which states ‘By 2020, Invasive Alien Species and their pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS’.

References and additional information

European Commission. 2008. Commission presents policy options for EU strategy on invasive species. Press release: European Commission – IP/08/1890 05/12/2008. Available online: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-08-1890_en.htm [Accessed: 12/01/2018]

Hulme, P.E., Roy, D.B., Cunha, T. & Larsson, T. B. 2009. A pan-European inventory of alien species: rationale, implementation and implications for managing biological invasions. Handbook of alien species in Europe (ed DAISIE), pp. 1-14. Springer, Dordrecht.

Lodge, D.M., Williams, S., MacIsaac, H.J., Hayes, K.R., Leung, B., Reichard, S., Mack, R.N., Moyle, P.B., Smith, M., Andow, D.A., Carlton, J.T. & McMichael, A. 2006. Biological invasions: Recommendations for US policy and management. Ecological Applications, 16, 2035–2054.

NOBANIS. 2015. Invasive Alien Species Pathway Analysis and Horizon Scanning for Countries in Northern Europe. © Nordic Council of Ministers 2015.

O’Flynn, C., Kelly, J. and Lysaght, L. 2014. Ireland’s invasive and non-native species – trends in introductions. National Biodiversity Data Centre Series No. 2. Ireland.

Sutherland, W.J. et al. 2008. Future novel threats and opportunities facing UK biodiversity identified by horizon scanning. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 821–833.

WGIAS. 2017. Prioritising Pathways of Introduction and Pathway Action Plans. Prepared by Working Group 1 of the Working Group on Invasive Alien Species (WGIAS) at the 2nd meeting of the Working Group Invasive Alien Species. Brussels, 2016-09-06. Available online:  https://circabc.europa.eu/faces/jsp/extension/wai/navigation/container.jsp [Accessed: 26/01/2017]

View the Northern Ireland and Great Britain draft pathway action plans: www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=135

[1] The official title of the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation is: Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species.