The COST Action will provide rapid and high quality information on IAS and the main beneficiaries from this research are 1) policy makers, government decision makers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 2) the general public and schools, 3) relevant industries, 4) researchers.
Policy makers, governmental decision makers and NGOs: Findings will be disseminated to policy makers and relevant NGOs through direct consultation with relevant bodies such as EEA, EU and national government departments and through representation at the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership (coordinated through the CBD). Additionally this COST Action will establish collaborations with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN) to ensure effective delivery of the outputs.
General public and schools: The general public is critical to surveillance and monitoring for EWRR. Non-technical summaries of all the major outputs will be made available through the website. These summaries will be publicised through national communication networks such as the National Biodiversity Network in GB and also through other European and global infrastructures.
Industry: Representative industry stakeholders (for example, International Biocontrol Manufacturers' Association) will be invited to WG meetings and the final conference. A question and answer forum will be included at these meetings and also virtually through the COST Action website.
Researchers: Not all researchers are aware of the problems IAS cause and some IAS remain unreported in e.g. ongoing monitoring programmes. Therefore, the network will include researchers from different disciplines identified through an awareness campaign.
Website: The COST Action website will be the main platform for disseminating outputs. Summaries of key findings will be published on the website.
Linking to good practice information packs for the general public: Links to downloadable resources for the general public across the network, including ID guides and factsheets, will be developed. An impact group will be formed, comprising the Management Committee and two nominated individuals with overall responsibility for leading this important component of the COST Action.
Outreach: The findings of this COST Action will be disseminated through outreach activities, such as exhibitions and conferences. Power point slides will be developed for use at meetings to raise awareness of the COST Action. Additionally full use will be made of networking opportunites such as Twitter and FaceBook for communicating activities and information.
Training: Training workshops will be included within every WG meeting and through the STSMs.
Production of an annual report: An annual report will be circulated to policy makers, practitioners, scientists, government and NGOs to provide and initiate feedback on the progression of the COST Action in the context of ongoing findings.
Peer-reviewed publications: The participants have an excellent reputation for publishing results in high quality journals and will ensure that this is the ethos of the COST Action. Indeed the COST Action will actively encourage open access publication so that all end-users will have access to the findings.
Grant applications: The COST Action will promote national applications and catalyze links across existing AS information systems, identifying gaps in knowledge and seeking opportunities to develop research. The consortium will link to ongoing EU FP7 projects and current COST Actions, such as PERMIT, to develop an FP8 proposal, which will take the guidelines developed through to implementation.
The Management Committee will consider progress throughout the COST Action through regular reviews and submissions of key output reports from all WGs at least 4 times a year. The MC will also pursue opportunities for results dissemination (such as media opportunities) as they arise beyond those anticipated at the start of the COST Action. Reports will be published through the COST Action website alongside summaries suitable for non-technical audiences. Links to peer-reviewed publications and conference proceedings will be provided.
The network of this COST action includes more than 90 international professionals in many disciplines, including biological invasions, conservation biology, ecological modelling, taxonomy, wildlife management, international relations, regulatory and policy analysis, training and communication. This COST Action multinational team with different backgrounds and qualifications represents a unique diversity that has created strong synergies leading to high-quality results in past project such as DAISIE. DAISIE represents a very successful example also in relation to the commitment of its partners to keep the database alive even after the end of the relevant FP6 project, as shown by the importance recognized in the years to this infrastructure (examples are not only the many literature work produced so far, but also the important policy development that have been triggered by and based on its data). Additionally this COST action would play a pivotal role to ensure the continuity of the efforts made so far, and would allow the network to grow in terms of both regional scope, comprehensiveness of data over taxa and biomes, and compliance with the legislative and strategic requirements linked to the recognized growing threat of IAS in Europe.
Since the IAS data and information have a clear spatial dimension, the COST Action will investigate the limits and potentialities related to the adoption of the 2007 INSPIRE directive (INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation in Europe) which might facilitate the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and activities related to IAS (e.g. by ensuring that the spatial data infrastructures of the Member States are compatible and usable in a Community and transboundary context).