News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs announces the beginning of the public consultation on Managing Problem Alien Invasive Species in Bermuda, held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which will run until the 7th of September 2021.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban recognises the need to protect Bermuda by better managing invasive pests now and in the future and is pleased to present the draft bill titled the “Invasive Alien Species Act 2021″ to allow members of the public the opportunity to provide their feedback on the document.
In Bermuda, we are especially aware that modern global travel is essential to our economic survival. However, at the same time, it makes the island vulnerable to the introduction and proliferation of invasive alien species (pests) that can and do negatively impact our environment, economy, human health, and social fabric.
The purpose of the Invasive Alien Species Act 2021 is to improve the island’s biosecurity by allowing for the assessment and listing of a pest species to the corresponding level of action needed to minimise its impacts.
Bermuda has also undertaken exercises with other Caribbean countries to identify potential problem species that could thrive in our climate, and the bill looks to ensure that these do not become an issue for our island.
Ultimately, the Act will prevent the introduction of new invasive alien species and create controls to prevent the spread of any such species that have, or do, become established.
“Members of the public may be familiar with the invasive Balloon Vine, a favourite of children who enjoy popping its brown papery capsules,” said the Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Walter Roban, “This woody vine is very fast growing and tends to take over and smother canopies.”
“Another invasive plant species found in Bermuda is the Indian Laurel, which can cause considerable property damage to building foundations, roofs, tanks and walls. Unfortunately, we also continue to investigate incidents of pest species ranging from lizards, scorpions, black widow spiders and snakes arriving either as “hitchhikers” in containers or via individuals deliberately attempting to bring them into our island as pets. These are but a tiny sample of the many invasive plant and animal species found in Bermuda, some of whom are poisonous and pose a danger to endemic plant and animal species.”
“It is incumbent on every one of us to prevent the introduction of new invasive species to our island home. The Invasive Alien Species Act 2021 will help provide the tools that everyone can use to identify and manage invasive plant and animal species in Bermuda.”
“I encourage everyone to review the document, provide your feedback, and help protect our island home.
Members of the public are invited to visit the Managing Problem Alien Invasive Species consultation page to submit their comments.
For further information or to contact the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, email email@example.com or call 297-7590.