Forest ThreatNet

Volume 6, Issue 4 - October/November 2013

Researchers Mobilize Against Risky Stowaway Pests

fumigated_logs_NewZealand.JPGSometimes there is more to global trade than meets the eye. While consumers and economies may benefit from expanding market opportunities and a seemingly endless array of readily available goods, harmful pests could be lurking as people and products are transported between countries. A network of researchers, known as the International Pest Risk Mapping Workgroup (IPRMW), met at an October workshop in Raleigh, NC, to share information about how exotic insects, diseases, and plants can move and spread—and threaten agricultural and natural resources.

Right: Logs at New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga are fumigated prior to export to minimize the chance of accidentally spreading forest pests. Photo by Frank Koch.

Eastern Threat Center research ecologist Frank Koch, a founding member of the IPRMW, served on the planning committee for the workshop, which generated knowledge and ideas important to policy makers engaged in international trade issues and the associated risks. Armed with information from IPRMW efforts, policy makers can develop science-based decisions about precautions necessary during international trading activities to prevent losses and sustain healthy crops, livestock, forests, and economies around the world. Read more in CompassLive…

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