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ACCESSION NO: 1018841 [Full Record] 

PROJ NO: MIN-17-G35 AGENCY: NIFA MIN 

PROJ TYPE: AFRI COMPETITIVE GRANT PROJ STATUS: NEW 

CONTRACT/GRANT/AGREEMENT NO: 2019-67013-29406 PROPOSAL NO: 2018-08456 

START: 15 APR 2019 TERM: 14 APR 2020 

GRANT AMT: $30,000 GRANT YR: 2019

AWARD TOTAL: $30,000

INITIAL AWARD YEAR: 2019

INVESTIGATOR: Andow, D.; Pires Paula, DE, .

PERFORMING INSTITUTION: 

UNIV OF MINNESOTA 

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA 55108

CRITERIA FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF EXOTIC GENERALIST ARTHROPOD BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Generalist arthropod biological control agents (GABCAs) can be an important pest control alternative, enabling greater production with less use of chemical pesticides. Because of a lack of suitable environmental risk assessment (ERA) methodology to assess biosafety, their use has lagged behind other applications of biological control. Due to the technical complexity involved in developing this methodology, this proposed conference is preceded by an independently funded 15-month pre-conference process of structured online discussions performed by an international multidisciplinary panel of experts with stakeholders. The long-term goal of this proposal is to identify criteria to support an improved ERA methodology for exotic GABCAs, focusing on predators. Supporting objectives are to identify knowledge gaps, generate and disseminate knowledge in this neglected area, sensitize the broader scientific community to this need, build scientific capacity, especially among the new generation of scientists, communicate and partner with stakeholders, and support public policies to regulate the safe use of exotic GABCAs. Stakeholders will be involved in key steps to assure that products are practical and have potential to be adopted by those interested in using/producing/regulating exotic GABCAs for pest control. The proposed 1½-day conference consists of a half day symposium to present the results of the pre-conference activities, followed by a one day satellite meeting for contributed talks and discussions to address controversies and identify future needs. The conference will be integrated in or in parallel with the ESA 2019 annual meeting to enable participation of the wider entomological community.

OBJECTIVES: This conference proposal has as a long-term goal to identify criteria and methodologies to support environmental risk assessments (ERA) of exotic generalist arthropod biological control agents (from now on referred to as GABCAs) on non-target species and their associated ecosystem services. To achieve this goal, we will rely on the experiences and expertise of national and international experts and take advantage of and harmonize with previous guidelines already proposed for ERA of biological control agents (BCAs). The conference we propose here will be the culmination of a 15-month process to build a community of experts to focus on key issues to develop criteria and methods that could be used in an ex-ante (pre-release) ERA for exotic GABCAs, focusing on predators. Supporting objectives are to:(a) build a consensus around scientifically-sound methods to assess the environmental risks of introducing and using exotic GABCAs for pest control;(b) identify knowledge gaps in the ERA methods;(c) generate and disseminate knowledge in this neglected area;(d) sensitize the broader scientific community to the need to develop an ERA methodology for exotic GABCAs;(e) build scientific capacity, especially among the new, less established generation of scientists, to contribute to this issue;(f) communicate and partner with stakeholders so they are aware of these developments and in the future can make environmentally friendly commercial and regulatory decisions;(g) support public policies to regulate the safe use of exotic GABCAs within the existing context of BCA-ERA.