The Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (SISC) is a not-for-profit association of professionals from federal, provincial, municipal governments, industry and non-government organizations. Council members are knowledgeable on invasive species or their management. The SISC was formed in 2008 to address the lack of coordination and understanding associated with invasive species within the province of Saskatchewan and across Canada. Recognizing that managing invasive plants is a shared responsibility among stakeholders, the Council will:
- Foster awareness and understanding of invasive species issues.
- Encourage action to help detect, prevent and manage invasive species.
- Bridge mandates and encourage partnerships and dialogue between organizations and stakeholders (stakeholders include: government agencies, NGOs/invasive plant councils/NAWMA, landowners/general public, industry/occupants, research/academia).
- Serve as a respected repository and source of credible information and resources on invasive species in Saskatchewan.
- Work toward becoming the lead agency to coordinate and enable shared responsibility of invasive species management in Saskatchewan.
- Liaise with other provincial, regional and state Councils to create a multi-jurisdictional network against invasive species.
Invasive species threaten the integrity and economic value of Saskatchewan’s ecosystems, reducing biodiversity, displacing native plants, damaging wildlife habitat and reducing food sources, decreasing land productivity, and diminishing aesthetic values of the land, costing our economy millions of dollars each year.
Successful management of invasive species requires the mutual cooperation of a variety of agencies, organizations, user groups and individuals. The SISC provides a forum in which to pursue cooperative and innovative solutions.
Working together to ensure Saskatchewan’s environment, economy and social interests are protected through permanent control and eradication of invasive alien species.
The Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (SISC) enables collaboration and works in partnerships to guard Saskatchewan against invasive alien invaders by providing leadership, knowledge and expertise as well as a forum to engage, enable and empower citizens to take action on invasive species issues.
Guiding Principles and Values
The Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council collectively desires to be
- Collaborative and consensus-based.
- Innovative and open to non-traditional approaches to managing invasive species.
- Sustainability-focused and science-based in its assessment and prioritisation of concerns.
- Transparent and accountable in its business.
- Trusted by the public as a credible source of invasive species information and expertise.
- Inclusive of all relevant and/or interested parties.
- Inclusive of all invasive species in Saskatchewan and those threatening to invade Saskatchewan, regardless of their scientific classification (terrestrial or aquatic plant, animal, insect, disease, etc.).
- Adaptive to new threats and management practices.
- A forum serving to engage and empower stakeholders and the general public on the issues of invasive species.
- An active organisation, that is proactively dealing with invasive species issues.
The SISC has identified a number of key challenges in advancing invasive species management in Saskatchewan:
- Lack of awareness and understanding of the impacts on the environment, economy and society, as well as impacts to individual livelihoods.
- General lack of knowledge in identifying, recognising and reporting alien invasive species.
- Little action to address aquatic alien invasive species and those with little economic impact.
- Lack of science defining socio-economic and ecological impacts of invasive species on Saskatchewan’s people and biodiversity and lack of research regarding management of invasive species.
- Poor alignment of policy, mandates and strategies and lack of co-ordination to deliver programs amongst government agencies, non-governmental organisations academia, First Nations and other stakeholders.
- Lack of collaboration between and amongst affected parties and governing bodies.
- Lack of information on the nature and extent of current invasive species in Saskatchewan as well as on invasive species extents in neighbouring jurisdictions.
- Unorganised and inefficient management, exchange and distribution of alien invasive species information.
- The need for a co-ordinated regional approach to the prevention, early detection, eradication and management of alien invasive species.
- General apathy regarding invasive alien species.
The SISC’s Goals and Strategies aim to address these challenges.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The SISC will aim to achieve the following goals by employing the indicated strategies.
Goal 1. Increase the impact, membership and profile of the SISC
Formalize the governance of the Council including Board of Directors and Membership
Develop Terms of Reference to govern general membership and Board of Directors.
Develop policies, procedures and operating guidelines.
Develop a strategic plan that identifies the specific areas in which SISC will focus.
Secure long term funding to support salaries and expenses
Develop promotional plan to attract/increase membership.
Apply for grants.
Host Annual General Meetings and workshops.
Develop a business plan to address member/client identification and recruitment, deliverables or programs, revenues and cost projections, marketing, evaluation, administration (financial and operational) and communication.
Goal 2: Increase public awareness regarding the impacts of invasive species on the environment, economy, society and individual livelihoods to inspire the public to take action.
Lead education and awareness on invasive species in Saskatchewan through public forums and presentations.
Host Annual General Meetings combined with invasive species forums/workshops.
Attend stakeholder functions (as a presenter, showcasing poster/display, or just as a delegate) to maintain rapport and increase profile (e.g. home and garden shows, agricultural conferences and shows, boating exhibitions).
Host seminars and workshops.
Host invasive plant days/weed pick/beetle distribution days (demonstration and empowerment).
Develop, maintain and distribute educational and promotional materials.
Develop website as key information exchange forum.
Publish e-newsletters technical bulletins and fact sheets on website and distribute to membership via email.
Scan existing school curriculum modules and seize opportunities to promote invasive species education through the school curriculum.
Create awareness materials and promote their use (provide sample signage on website).
Gain permission to circulate existing awareness materials from other jurisdictions.
Place invasive species awareness signs at key border entry points.
Develop a symbol for invasive species in Saskatchewan.
Develop a watch list for those species not addressed by current legislation.
Utilize other educational items as opportunities arise (eg. Invasive plant calendar).
Goal 3: Collaborate with stakeholders with mutual interests in invasive species.
Facilitate communication and collaboration between key stakeholders and partners.
Provide a venue to facilitate information exchange and coordination of management on invasive species in Saskatchewan.
Encourage the establishment of invasive species partnerships or working groups at regional/local level.
Establish mutually beneficial partnerships where opportunities arise.
Promote coordinated research efforts.
Support invasive species research and the transfer of results/information to a central, publicly accessible data centre (the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre).
Actively pursue research projects focused on the social and economic impacts of invasive species on Saskatchewan’s natural capital.
Goal 4: Operate as an effective resource for agencies and stakeholders.
Provide expert advice to stakeholders in applied invasive species management.
Maintain an information hotline for invasive species through the website (email or phone).
Continually update information on the most effective control methods, best management practices and mitigation measures.
Be informed about key policy and program initiatives on invasive species of relevance to Saskatchewan
Board members to bring forward key areas of concern from the sector they represent.
Provide appropriate input to key policy initiatives on invasive species.