The Hawaii Invasive Species Council (the Council or HISC) was established for the special purpose of providing policy level direction, coordination, and planning among state departments, federal agencies, and international and local initiatives for the control and eradication of harmful invasive species infestations throughout the State [of Hawaii] and for preventing the introduction of other invasive species that may be potentially harmful HRS 194-2 (a).
A 2002 State Legislative Reference Bureau study identified the need to address a number of gaps in invasive species management state-wide.
The HISC was formed to address these gaps and is co-chaired by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Department of Agriculture (DOA) , and they work in conjunction with its members:
- University of Hawaii (UH)
- Hawaii Department of Business, Economic
Development and Tourism (DBEDT)
- Hawaii Department of Health (DOH)
- Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT)
In addition, the leaders of the following Departments and organizations have been invited to participate:
- County Mayors
- Hawaii Department of Defense
- Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs
- Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
- Federal agency representatives
- Non-profit agency representatives
The first official meeting of the HISC convened on October 29, 2003. HISC meeting information is available here. The Council makes final decisions and considers recommendations of five working groups chaired by member agencies:
The HISC recognized the critical need for sustainable funding sources for adequate inspections of incoming goods, the need for early detection and rapid response for priority invasive species, and the need for ongoing control of existing pests.
The HISC aims to maintain a comprehensive overview of issues and implement a state-wide invasive species prevention, early detection and control program for terrestrial and aquatic invaders. The focus is on programmatic and capacity shortfalls not currently addressed by state agencies. It is hoped that the HISC funded projects will be a testing ground for new methods and capacity to address invasive species, that over time will be adopted permanently by agencies, thereby freeing up HISC resources to further promote innovation and address gaps in the overall effort to effectively manage invasive species.