The Cost of Invasive Species Bears Heavy on Indian Economy, Finds Study
By Sahana Ghosh
As many as 10 invasive alien species (IAS), out of 330 that are known to be invasive in India, have cost the economy $127.3 billion (Rs. 8.3 trillion) in the last 60 years, according to a recent analysis that points to glaring knowledge gaps in costs incurred by these species to the Indian economy.
As many as 330 species are declared invasive out of more than 2,000 alien species in India and the costs of $127.3 billion as documented in the study comes from only 10 of these 330 species, making India the second topmost invasion-cost bearing country after the United States. These costs are likely to be a “gross underrepresentation” of the actual costs based on the authors’ global analysis of 112 countries.
“The negative economic impacts are documented and available only for 3% of the known invasive species and unavailable/masked/underrepresented for the rest 97% of invasive species in India. That’s a huge knowledge gap,” evolutionary biologist and study lead author Alok Bang told Mongabay-India. For comparison, the annual budget of India’s environment ministry is currently $0.4 billion.
Photo courtesy of Thangaraj Kumaravel.