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In the latest eNewsletter of the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA News No 35, January 2015), Lesley Henderson highlights the devastating invasion of torch cactus in the Karoo. “The Karoo was taken over by the sweet prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) 100 years ago. Is history repeating itself?”, asks Henderson.

A new Invasive Lionfish Webportal has been created to serve as a platform to promote discussions and inquiries regarding invasive lionfish information.   Lionfish (Pterois volitans) pose a significant danger to the entire ocean ecosystem. They are carnivores, feeding on small crustaceans and the young of important commercial fish species such as snapper and grouper. Marine divers stung by lionfish report that there are 18 venomous spines which inflict excoriating pain. 

In September 2014, 10 years after its inception, the Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) held its first Partners Conference in Stellenbosch to celebrate the success of its current partnerships and to explore new areas of collaboration.

Hundreds of magnificent eco-desks were handed over by President Jacob Zuma and Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs. Edna Molewa to schools in Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape during the launch of the third phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme. 

As of 1 October, 2014, the Department of Environmental Affairs, through the Directorate: Biosecurity, will start processing permit applications and issuing permits for restricted activities pertaining to alien and listed invasive species.

The Council of the European Union has formally adopted regulations on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. The regulations were adopted on 29 September, 2014, at a meeting of the General Affairs Council.

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