Invasive alien species not only threaten biodiversity in the Pacific islands, but also severely impact the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of Pacific peoples. While Pacific island governments have shown commitment for managing invasive alien species, governments must set priorities for identifying which invasives to manage and how to manage them. Cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis are tools that help to identify the most efficient management approaches.
With funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a workshop on cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in October 2015. Led by Dr. Pike Brown and Dr. Adam Daigneault from Landcare Research New Zealand, the three-day workshop drew 18 participants from Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and New Zealand. The workshop was co-organised by Live and Learn Vanuatu and the University of South Pacific, and attendees represented government, civil society, non-governmental organisations, and the research sector.
Key topics of discussion included the steps in conducting cost-benefit analysis and cost-effective analysis, population growth, discounting, uncertainty, primary and secondary data, and ecosystem services. Workshop participants learned how to use an Excel-based toolkit with real-life examples of small Indian mongoose and African tulip tree in Fiji and Norwegian rat on small offshore islands. Examples from the Eastern Melanesia Biodiversity Hotspot were also discussed at length, including rat invasions on East Rennell Island and crown-of-thorns starfish in coral reefs. Workshop participants are being supported by the workshop leaders as they undertake their own economic analyses of managing invasive alien species.