The Cooperative Initiative on Invasive Alien Species on Islands (“The Cooperative Islands Initiative” or CII) is a global initiative that was launched in 2002 following calls from island countries and countries with islands for more efforts to manage invasive species. CII aims to facilitate cooperation and enhance capacity to prevent and manage invasive species on islands.
The CII is hosted by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature, under the umbrella of the Global Invasive Species Programme. The New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) and the New Zealand Pacific Development and Conservation Trust (PDCT) provided funding to establish the programme based at the ISSG’s headquarters, then at the University of Auckland.
In 2002, CII was proposed by the NZ government as a Type II Partnership at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. In 2004 the first regional programme of CII, the Pacific Invasive Initiative (PII), was established in response to calls from the region for assistance with capacity development for invasive species management. In addition to these achievements, the following was achieved by CII over the 2-year period:
- Strengthening of invasive species networks through engagement and supporting activities.
- Information sharing through the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD).
- Leveraging of funding.
- Provision of technical support, including peer review, to projects on the ground.
- Raising awareness of the impacts of invasive species on island biodiversity and livelihoods and opportunities for their management.
- Initiation of the Pacific Ant Prevention Programme
Being a global initiative, the CII will be expanded to other regions in collaboration with other countries, programmes and partners. One first step towards this expansion is the “Helping Islands Adapt Workshop”. The workshop, was held in 2010, it was designed to help build capacity on island across the globe to deal with invasive species issues, while at the same time garnering more widespread donor and political support to take efforts forward over the long term. This “hands-on” learning experience aims to include participants from different regions of the world including the Caribbean, Europe/Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific.