The programme’s mission is to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services from the negative impact of invasive plants.


The objectives, in accordance with applicable legislation and the needs of stakeholders are:

  • Develop and co-ordinate surveillance through an early detection programme for new or emerging invasive alien plants and waterweeds.
  • Develop capacity and systems to allow for rapid and accurate identification and verification of invasive alien plants collected by the surveillance teams.
  • Harness and develop capacity and ensure optimum institutional cooperation to facilitate risk assessment and rapid response of each new or emerging invasive plant in South Africa that stands a good chance to be eradicated or contained within the capacities and budgets of this Programme.
  • Co-ordinate the organization of rapid response teams to respond when invasions have been detected and the course of action decided and approved.
  • Develop and co-ordinate effective information management systems that allow for readily accessible, rapid and accurate exchange of information between all those involved in the programme and to provide appropriate information also to wider audiences.
  • Initiate and execute relevant research on early detection, risk assessment and rapid response aimed at continuously improving the programme.
  • Plan and implement an advocacy and awareness raising programme to elevate the profile of the early detection programme and the issue of invasive alien plants.
  • Design and implement a monitoring and evaluation programme to assess effectiveness of the above programmes and to recommend improvements.
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