NISSAPs are National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plans (sometimes called National Invasives Species Strategic Action Plans).
We are helping develop a first NISSAP for Tuvalu and revising the NISSAPs for Tonga, Marshall Islands and Niue. We are working together with colleagues at SPREP and in-country, and Ray Pierce of EcoOceania. The work is supported by the Global Environment Facility Regional Invasives Project (GEF 6 RIP) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the Implementing Agency and SPREP as the Executing Agency.
More information on the essential need for NISSAPs and how to develop them can be found in the NISSAP Battler Guide on the SPREP website.
Streamlining the NISSAP process
As part of our work we developed a NISSAP template, taking the best of existing NISSAPs, and making the structure and content consistent. The intent is that the template will assist countries and territories in revising or developing NISSAPs with less reliance on external consultants, and to make the job easier for consultants. The template has guidelines on the type of information desired in each section and has been approved for use by SPREP.
When NISSAPs are to be revised, the old NISSAP needs to first go through a review process. Prior to our project, there were no guidelines for the review process, so we also developed a template for the review. As well as highlighting the achievements of the previous NISSAP, this process helps understand what work needs to be brought forward and what lessons have been learned through the challenges faced.
After the review, the next step is to create a new NISSAP using the template, adding in all the background information required, and drafting new Action Tables. The information from the Action Tables comes from the previous NISSAP and information provided by the CROP agencies working in the country, and, most importantly the key departments (Agriculture and Environment). This new draft is then used for consultation with communities and interested parties, such as other departments and agencies or consultants working with the country on invasive species issues (including the PRISMSS programme leads).
Reviewing the draft with communities and other interested parties is the key opportunity to get their feedback to make sure their needs are reflected in the new NISSAP. The other important purpose is to share information on priorities around the region and find out if there are new concerns.
One of the challenges we faced in this project was the inability to visit countries for consultations due to COVID pandemic travel restrictions. Isabell Rasch from SPREP discovered Mentimeter, and we found it was a useful tool to help with guiding and recording feedback from consultations. But the main factor that enabled these NISSAPs to be developed or revised was the tremendous support of the in-country invasive species coordinators, who travelled where needed and delivered the consultations. We developed a consultation presentation structured along the lines of the draft NISSAP Action Tables to help guide these consultations.
Please contact Pacific Biosecurity or SPREP for more information or guidance.