6. Sustaining the Project

What is the Sustaining the Project Stage?

The Sustaining the Project Stage is the on-going work required after the operation has been completed.  With invasive plant eradication projects, the operational work (Implementation) may continue for many years.  With invasive plant control projects the operational work (Implementation) may continue forever however biosecurity still needs to be implemented.
Sustaining the Project involves continuing to implement the:
  • Biosecurity Plan
To minimise the chances of re-invasion, the Biosecurity work that started in the Implementation Stage will continue.  The Biosecurity plan will need to be kept in place permanently if re-invasion is to be avoided. 
A surveillance plan will need to be put in place that checks for the presence of invasive species on the site. For eradication projects, if target invasive species are discovered at the site this can mean either; the original eradication operation was not successful, or there has been a post-operational invasion.  Either way, the incursion response actions (detailed in the Biosecurity Plan) will need to be implemented.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.
Post-operation monitoring of the project outcomes as described in the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan will continue throughout the Sustaining the Project Stage.

Why Do It?

Eradicating the target species, or controlling it to the required density, is only the start of an invasive species-free site.  If the project is to be a long-term success you must ensure that:
  • the target invasive species does not re-invade and re-establish,
  • new invasive species do not become established on the site.  
In many cases, you will only be able to have one attempt at eradication; funders may not be so enthusiastic to fund a second eradication project if the first fails – so it is vital to continue the effort after the eradication and prevent re-invasion or invasion by new invasive species.
Control projects may go on forever and decision-makers and funders will want to see positive progress with targeted species on the site and no invasions of new species.
The benefits of the Sustaining the Project Stage:
  • Implementing the Biosecurity Plan is essential in ensuring that the target species or new invasive species do not invade the site.
  • Surveillance and incursion response readiness will enable you to stop any invasive species that evade your prevention measures from establishing a population on the site.
  • Monitoring will provide the data to assess and demonstrate the success of the project.

When to Do?

The Sustaining the Project Stage work will start as soon as the Implementation Stage is completed.  Implementing widespread prevention measures will have started in the Implementation Stage but will continue throughout the Sustaining the Project Stage and will need to be permanent. 
Preparation for the surveillance and response parts of the Biosecurity Plan will have started during the Implementation Stage, so that the team is trained, prepared and ready and any necessary tools/equipment/materials are immediately available for response actions at the start of the Sustaining the Project Stage. 
Post-operation monitoring may have started as part of the Implementation Stage, if not it will start early in the Sustaining the Project Stage.  The frequency and type of monitoring will vary from project to project and will have been planned in the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.

Who Should Be Involved?

Project Manager:  
  • Overall responsibility for the project. 
Project Team: 
  • Surveillance, incursion response and monitoring. 
  • Notified of progress. 
Local community:  
  • Adopt Biosecurity prevention measures, surveillance, report incursions, value the invasive free status of the site, and put pressure on other site users to keep the site invasive free. 
  • Adopt Biosecurity prevention measures.