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FAO new guide outlines how to protect forests from invasive insects

08.04.2019 09:11 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) As of last week, the Sixth Mediterranean Forest Week was held within Lebanon, FAO reports. It is to be admitted, the Forest Week (organized by FAO and several other international agencies) is held every two years within a member country. The event highlights the specific challenges faced by Mediterranean forests and calls attention to their global importance. As to the report, within the event, FAO issued its new Guide to the classical biological control of insect pests in planted and natural forests. The new Guide contains information in a clear and concise way to assist forest managers within developing countries develop effective pest-control programmes. It is to be admitted, presently insect pests damage around 35million ha of forests each year, with particularly catastrophic impacts recorded when non-native species arrive into the ecosystems where they have no natural enemies. The scale of impact is boosting up due to the international trade growth and the effects of climate change. Fortunately, within the last decades, the global community has accumulated considerable knowledge on the application of biological pest control. The introduction of natural enemies of invasive species from their country of origin has proven an effective tool to combat their expansion. For example, the introduction of Torymus sinensis (a parasitoid specific to the Asian chestnut gall wasp within China which spread over Europe and reduced the wood yields by 40% and nut yields by over 80%) proved effective, spreading on its own and killing over three-fourths of the targeted galls, while leaving other native wasps alone. So, the classic biological control offers a tested, inexpensive and pesticide-free approach to battling alien pathogens, and the Guide shows the effective ways how to make the classical biological control create a permanent, self-sustaining population of natural enemies that will suppress the pest population or restrain their spread in a certain area. If successful, it reduces the use of insecticides with corresponding benefits to human health and the environment.

Agro Perspectiva

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08.04.2019
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