Pest control, economic globalization and the involvement of policy makers
A new special issue of NeoBiota journal has been published, following the 2012 meeting of the International Pest Risk Mapping Workgroup (IPRMW). The workshop was sponsored by the OECD's Co-operative Research Program on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, and focused on pest risks in the foodchain. The new issue addresses the interface between pest risk science and policy in an attempt to secure adequate pest control measures against potential invasions accompanying economic globalization and the intensified movement of people and goods.
With the intensification of trade, the potential for translocation of harmful pests, weeds, and pathogens capable of impacting our crops, livestock and natural resources also grows. A special IPRMW meeting was held in Tromsø, Norway from 23–26 July, 2012 to address this issue. The meeting was attended by 30 ecologists, economists, risk analysts and policy advisors from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, Italy, and the United States. "The conference succeeded in stimulating new ideas about how to incorporate climate change, invasion dynamics, economics, and uncertainty into pest risk models and maps for invasive alien species, and how to communicate these improved results to biosecurity policy advisors", notes meeting convenor Dr Rob Venette, United States Forest Service.
The new issue of NeoBiota contains 12 research articles and an editorial reflecting the major outcomes and findings following the IPRMW meeting. The articles focus on issues of interactions between pest risk and climate change, policy and economics. Also featured is research about pest control and surveillance as well as the issue of pest risk and uncertainty, which is a key to the correct implementation of scientific research by policymakers.
"Since its first meeting in 2007, the IPRMW has made significant advances in pest risk modelling and mapping methods," explains Dr Darren Kriticos, CSIRO, Australia. "The meeting in Tromsø continued this tradition, with significant advances in economic model integration, a new understanding of the irreducible uncertainties in climate change forecasts, and the desirability of an adaptive management framework for dealing with these uncertainties, as well as new methods for dealing with other forms of uncertainty. Clearly, more work needs to be done in the area of risk communication and the improvement of niche modelling methods to produce timely and reliable models," he adds.