Pan European Networks - Government - page 203

Pan European Networks: Government
In the future it is possible that the most effective way to reduce
the impact of INS as a whole is to focus efforts in these ‘hotspot’
areas, where you are most likely to prevent new INS establishing.
All of this information will be invaluable to national and regional
level policy makers, who should be able to use it to maximise the
effectiveness of any policy instruments they alter or create in order
to comply with the new legislation on this topic, which should be
ratified by the European Parliament in the near future. RINSE is
now working to ensure that the results of this work are seen by as
many of the key decision makers as possible.
Embedding best practice
RINSE also facilitates the transfer of knowledge from scientific
experts who carry out research on INS management and impacts,
to those who carry out control and mitigation work ‘in the field’.
This is done through a number of ‘Best Practice’ workshops, and
associated literature, as well as written case studies and new
management toolkits. The first of the workshops was held in July
2013, and focused on the control of invasive mammals and
geese, bringing together almost 100 individuals from across the
RINSE area in Ghent, where RINSE partners RATO and INBO
hosted this groundbreaking event.
Empowering individuals
RINSE is working to increase awareness of INS amongst European
citizens and engage them in activities to reduce the impacts of
these species.
One area that anyone can help in is gathering data ‘in the field’. To
effectively control INS across Europe, it is essential we have up-to-
date and accurate information on their distribution. However,
much of the data available to date, is unverified, outdated and
lacking a precise geographic reference. To address this, RINSE has
developed a Smartphone app – ‘That’s Invasive!’ – a library of
species biology, ecology and impacts of over 35 invasive non-
native species that are found within Europe.
Taking advantage of the inbuilt GPS in smart phones, users can
submit geo-tagged photographs of INS which are then verified by
an expert. Consequently, data obtained from ‘That’s Invasive!’ will
be a reliable and accurate source of distribution data about INS
across Europe and enable the co-ordination of control and
eradication programmes.
RINSE has also supported the further development of Q-Bank, an
online resource which utilises image-driven identification tools to
help users identify invasive plants. Developed in the Netherlands,
this resource is now usable by any of the countries involved in the
RINSE project.
As you will now have come to appreciate, RINSE is an ambitious
and wide ranging collaboration, with many diverse but
interconnected components. Despite the project ending in 2014,
we aim to establish a cross-border network of experts that will
remain for years to come, embed science-based policies within
key players in our region, raise awareness of the risks and impacts
of these species across a wide range of stakeholder groups and
create a comprehensive catalogue of guidance materials on the
management of these species. If we are to succeed in reducing
the spread and impact of these species in the future then closer
cross-border co-operation is essential.We hope that RINSE will
have gone some way towards making that happen.
Mike Sutton-Croft
RINSE Technical Co-ordinator
tel: +44 (0)1603 228977
Delegates at the Best Practice Workshop on the control of invasive
mammals and geese (Credit: Corin Pratt)
That’s Invasive! being used in the field (Credit: Mike Sutton-Croft)
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