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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
avatar for Mariana Zilio

Mariana Zilio

Adjunct Researcher
Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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I am Dr. in Economics, Adjunct Researcher in IIESS and Adjunct Professor at the Economics Department of the Universidad Nacional del Sur. I have been always working on environmental and natural resources economics and, during the last eight years, part of my research has been focused on the assessment of economic cost of invasive alien species through their impact on ecosystems, socio-ecological systems, public budgets and human health. In this regard, my research is aimed to quantify in economic terms the magnitude of biological invasions problem and support the urgent need of implementing biodiversity policy measures for prevention, early detection and control of invasive alien species.

The economic impact of biological invasions: what it is and why it matters
Biological invasions caused by alien species are a constant threat to the functioning and survival of ecosystems worldwide, not only because of their impact on biodiversity, but also because they generate substantial economic losses. These losses are due to their interference with productive activities, their impacts on human and animal health and the costs associated with their prevention, management and control. Identifying and quantifying such losses is not an easy task, but it is strictly necessary in order to achieve an efficient allocation of resources devoted to biodiversity protection policy, including prevention, early detection and natural based solutions such as biological control strategies. In this context, the ecosystem services framework can be useful to assess the impact of invasive alien plants, providing a metric to prioritize actions addressed to minimize their effects on the provisioning, regulating and cultural services provided on each biome. This presentation summarizes the results of two different estimations of economic loss related to biological invasions in Argentina: an estimation of the annual economic loss derived from a set of selected invasive alien distributed all along the country; and a benefit transfer based estimation of the impact of two macrophytes (Iris pseudacorus and Hedychium coronarium) on wetland ecosystem services provision in currently invaded areas. In both cases, our results highlight the magnitude of the biological invasions problem, and can contribute to redirect efforts towards control strategies of the most damaging species, improving the allocation of public and private resources.