Biological Control of Invasive Pests and Weeds

         Globalization and escalating trade has made us more vulnerable to Invasive Alien Species (IAS) which is a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services. As per Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 states that, 'By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritised, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment'.

         In the past 10 years at least 12 alien pests have invaded Indian geographical boundaries or have been formally reported. The spread of alien species is one of the greatest threats to the ecosystem. Classical biological control appears to be an important approach in the 4 management of these invasive species. International collaboration for the management of invasive species is of utmost importance as exchange of resources can help in timely control of the pest.

         As per CBD, work initiated by the International Plant Protection Convention, the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Trade Organization’s Committee on the Agreement for the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and its Standards and Trade Development Facility, could be built upon when taking actions to meet Aichi Biodiversity Target 9. One outcome-oriented indicator is trends in invasive alien species while other possible indicators could include the status of alien species invasion, and the Red List Index for impacts of invasive alien species. The work undertaken by the Global Invasive Species Programme, as well as by IUCN’s Invasive Species Specialist Group, could be useful starting points in this regard.

Lead talk on “Biological Control of Invasive Weeds – Historical perspective, challenges and future prospects – Djamila (Djami) Djeddour, Weed Biocontrol Scientist, CABI, Bakeham Lane, Surrey, UK”

Lead talk on “Indian attempts at reuniting old enemies of invasive pests – S. Ramani, UAS, Bengaluru”