WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo announced that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 will include language to promote invasive species prevention and management in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Readiness Subcommittee approved a provision requiring a briefing on the Regional Biosecurity Plan for Micronesia and Hawaii (RBP). The RBP provided recommendations that will minimize the harmful ecological, social, cultural, and economic impacts of invasive species through the prevention and management of such species’ introduction, expansion, and dispersal within the region. The language notes that with the influx of permanent and rotational U.S. military personnel and equipment in the region, a coordinated effort among federal agencies is needed to minimize the risk of introduction and spread of invasive species. The briefing will help to hold the Department of Defense and other federal agencies accountable for providing sufficient funding for the successful implementation of this plan. The briefing would be due to the House Armed Services Committee by Feb. 1, 2017.
“Invasive species impact islands in the Pacific, and on Guam they pose significant threats to our ecosystem and wildlife. The Regional Biosecurity Plan is a multi-agency effort that provides recommendations that will minimize the harmful ecological, social, cultural, and economic impacts of invasive species through prevention and management. I am pleased that the Navy has taken the first step by leading the development of the RBP, and I look forward to DoD’s continued leadership in ensuring that there is federal and local coordination and cooperation to address the threats of invasive species. The provision will help to hold DoD and other federal agencies accountable for a successful implementation of this plan. Guam can no longer be an afterthought in invasive species management. We don’t have to be the battlefield in preventing the spread of invasive species elsewhere. Let’s stop the invasive species before they arrive in Guam and successful implementation of this plan is critical to achieving that goal,” said Bordallo. (PR)