Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group

About Us

Since 2004, the Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group (IMISWG) has provided policy direction, coordination and collaborative delivery of provincial invasive species programs for the Province of BC.
Several land-based ministries have responsibility for noxious weed and invasive plant management, including Ministries of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Agriculture, Environment, Transportation and Energy and Mines. The IMISWG functions to bring together provincial ministries and agencies, each with unique mandates, program goals and technical expertise. Other participating agencies include the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Oil and Gas Commission, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Aboriginal Rights and Reconciliation, and the Solicitor General.

Collaboration, Innovation, and Leadership

The management of invasive species is increasingly complex. Environmental, social, and economic parameters must be incorporated into the decision-making process. Overarching goals and objectives of the BC Government regarding sustainable environmental management, climate change, and the new relationship with First Nations are relevant to the management of invasive species. The corporate approach of the IMISWG is efficacious in achieving these overarching goals, given that many agencies are involved in managing invasive species. The IMISWG collaborates extensively with stakeholders including First Nations, the Invasive Species Council of BC, local and federal governments, regional invasive plant and species committees, and neighbouring jurisdictions in the US and Canada.

The IMISWG has piloted new approaches to on-the-ground management of invasive species and developed innovative models for community involvement. It oversees the development and enhancement of biological control of invasive plants for BC. As well, the IMISWG is developing and strengthening critical information bases and decision support tools that incorporate both economic and environmental parameters. The Early Detection and Rapid Response Plan for BC provides for provincial leadership and collaborative approaches to prevent critical invasive plant species from establishing in BC. Prevention of high risk aquatic invasive species is of key importance to the IMISWG.