In 2002 a gap in the world’s knowledge in invasive species was identified by USDA. Increased trade, changing environmental patterns and increased travel have created opportunities for organisms, including plants, animal and micro-organisms to move into new habitats. This movement may adversely affect health of indigenous plants and animals and local biodiversity. USDA and CABI are working together to design and develop an encyclopaedic database of all known invasive species of all genera, except human pathogens. The database will be an important tool for those working in agriculture, biodiversity and the environment. To be effective in supporting people to manage invasive species it is important that everyone who needs to will be able to access and use it. Since 2002 other governments’ agencies and private sector companies have joined USDA and CABI in working on this initiative. This paper describes the consortium model and the planning phases of the database of invasive species, and importantly highlights the decision making process, business case and business model for opening access of the information to all.
IAALD XIIIth World Congress, Montpellier, 26-29 April 2010. 8 pp. (paper) and 14 pp. (powerpoint)