Every year, the BC government proclaims the month of May as “Invasive Species Action Month" (ISAM) to raise awareness about the harms of invasive species and encourage the public to take action.
Invasive species are plants and animals that are not native to BC and therefore threaten our environment, economy and society, including negative impacts on human health. Invasive species can significantly impact Indigenous communities in the same way, including affecting cultural practices and traditional harvesting.
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is an organization dedicated to taking action in helping concerned stakeholders to work together to stop the spread of invasive species in BC. The ISCBC works in partnership with Indigenous community leaders and members to prevent, detect and manage invasive species.
Partnering with the LEO Network in BC
The LEO Network in BC is collaborating with the ISCBC to highlight the unusual and climate-related changes within BC with respect to invasive species. This partnership will help with sharing of information, resources, tools and training opportunities related to invasive species in BC and their importance to understanding and responding to climate change and environmental health issues.
LEO in BC is a partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the First Nations Health Authority to better understand the environmental changes that communities in BC are observing.
Indigenous Invasive Species Network
The ISCBC hosts the Indigenous Invasive Species Network in BC, which currently has 190 members. This is a loose affiliation of First Nations, Indigenous individuals and organizations from across the province who meet several times a year to discuss the impacts of invasive species on lands and traditional foods and medicines, while sharing challenges and solutions and advising the ISCBC.
Second only to habitat loss, invasive species are the greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide. The close and critical connections that Indigenous communities have with the land, plants and animals and the loss of biodiversity have made invasive species management a priority for many First Nations.
Invasive Species & Climate Change National Symposium
Climate change directly relates to growing concerns of increased negative impacts from invasive species. Mitigating impacts, sequestering carbon, and taking action to protect critical habitats from invasive species is more important than ever.
Canada's first National Invasive Species and Climate Change Symposium, taking place June 7 and 8, will bring together policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to discuss this issue and begin to identify next steps to address it.
The National Invasive Species and Climate Change Symposium will incorporate a variety of workshops and keynote presentations along with plenty of opportunities for networking throughout the event.
Tickets for those who identify as Indigenous and/or students can register for the entire symposium at a discounted price of $10.
Register here: https://pheedloop.com/invasivespeciessymposium/site/home/
The ISCBC currently have a number of open positions throughout the province. Check out these opportunities here: https://bcinvasives.ca/about/careers/
Find out how you can take part in Invasive Species Action Month! https://bcinvasives.ca/news/share-your-event-for-isam/