A new video from CABI “The Green Invasion – Destroying Livelihoods in Africa” plainly shows the devastating effects of four invasive plants in Africa. The four plants are parthenium (famine weed), opuntia (prickly pear cactus),
prosopis (mathenge), and chromolaena (devil weed).
CABI is an inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization set up by a United Nations treaty. Its “mission is to improve people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.”
Two things struck me about the video: first, because the people in the video are living close to the margin, you really see the effects of these invasives on their ability to survive; second, the video demonstrates how a plant such as prickly pear cactus can be perfectly well-behaved on one continent but a disaster on another.