BEYOND PROTOCOS: IMPROVING THE RELIABILITY OF EXPERT-BASED RISK ANALYSIS UNDERPINNING INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES POLICIES
Published on 26 April 2017

Risk assessment tools for listing invasive alien species need to incorporate all available evidence and expertise. Beyond the wealth of protocols developed to date, the authors of this paper argue that the current way of performing risk analysis has several shortcomings. In particular, lack of data on ecological impacts, transparency and repeatability of assessments as well as the incorporation of uncertainty should all be explicitly considered. The authors recommend improved quality control of risk assessments through formalized peer review with clear feedback between assessors and reviewers. Other key recommendations of the paper include:

  • Clearly define the scope and objective of any risk analysis
  • Select appropriate risk analysis / assessment scheme
  • Gather all baseline data and available information
  • Identify missing data and information
  • Define clear and transparent quality control procedures such as a peer-reviewing or consensus building
  • Explicitly address manageability in risk analysis
  • Explicitly consider uncertainty in risk analysis:  
    *Assess level of confidence
    *Quantify level of agreement among experts when several experts are involved
    *Highlight context-dependent variability
  • Explicitly consider uncertainty in risk communication.

Access the full paper online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-017-1434-0

(Vanderhoeven, S., Branquart, E., Casaer, J. et al. Biol Invasions (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-017-1434-0)