Reducing the risk of invasive forest pests and pathogens: Combining legislation, targeted management and public awareness
Place of Publication
School of Science
Intensifying global trade will result in increased numbers of plant pest and pathogen species inadvertently being transported along with cargo. This paper examines current mechanisms for prevention and management of potential introductions of forest insect pests and pathogens in the European Union (EU). Current European legislation has not been found sufficient in preventing invasion, establishment and spread of pest and pathogen species within the EU. Costs associated with future invasions are difficult to estimate but past invasions have led to negative economic impacts in the invaded country. The challenge is combining free trade and free movement of products (within the EU) with protection against invasive pests and pathogens. Public awareness may mobilise the public for prevention and detection of potential invasions and, simultaneously, increase support for eradication and control measures. We recommend focus on commodities in addition to pathways, an approach within the EU using a centralised response unit and, critically, to engage the general public in the battle against establishment and spread of these harmful pests and pathogens.