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Proactive approach needed for climate resilient and sustainable pest management programmes says FST researchers

‘Climate Change and Pathways Used by Pests as Challenges to Plant Health in Agriculture and Forestry’, a recent global research publication with FST input has reinforced the need to give attention to the linkages between climate change and projected increases in pest risk in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry. According to the study, climate change has contributed to some pests having already expanded their host range or distribution; and understanding the ways in which they have been able to do so is valuable for informed adaptation and mitigation responses. Dr Tannecia Stephenson (Deputy Dean, FST UWI Mona) who is a co-author on the study states, “the increased market globalisation and related transport of recent years, coupled with increased temperatures, has led to favourable conditions for pest movement, invasion, and establishment worldwide. Most published studies indicate that, in general, pest risk will increase in agricultural ecosystems under climate-change scenarios, especially in today’s cooler arctic, boreal, temperate, and subtropical regions. This is also mostly true for forestry,” Dr. Dwight Robinson, (HoD, Dept. of Life Sciences, FST UWI Mona) a regional expert on pest management, also added, “there is likely to be several gaps in the knowledge and we will need to begin filling the critical components in that gap in a manner that will allow us to conduct area-specific pest risk modelling and analyses for Jamaica. This is critical for us to embark on a proactive approach to the development of climate resilient and sustainable pest management programmes, specifically designed for different agricultural ecosystems in Jamaica. As for the approach, it needs to be multi-sectoral and involve all stakeholders in the agricultural sector, particularly the farmers, researchers, funding agencies and the relevant government agencies.”


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Published on 12 Oct, 2022

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