Biological control best practice
In many countries, regulation of biological control agent introduction has been tightened in recent years. In 1995, the FAO Council ratified an international 'Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of Biological Control Agents' with the intention of providing a set of standards and guidelines for 'best practice' biological control agent introduction (Schulten 1997), and this has recently been updated (Nowell and Maynard 2005). It is recommended in the Code that proposed importers of biological control agents provide information on agricultural and environmental non-target effects. It is accepted that regulation of biological control agent introduction is required in the public interest because of its irreversibility, and the potential for biological control agents to disperse to habitats other than those where they were released (van Lenteren 1997). In New Zealand, the HSNO Act 1996 requires that new organism introductions, including biological control agents must be compatible with safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water and ecosystems, the sustainability of flora and fauna, and the intrinsic value of ecosystems (ERMA New Zealand 1998).
ERMA New Zealand (1998). Annotated methodology for the consideration of applications for hazardous substances and new organisms under the HSNO Act 1996. ERMA New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand. 28 pp.
Nowell D. and Maynard G.V. (2005). International guidelines for the export, shipment, import and release of biological control agents and other beneficial organisms (ISPM No. 3). Pp. 726-734 In: Second International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, M. Hoddle (Ed.) Davos, Switzerland, USDA Forest Service.
Schulten G.G.M. (1997). The FAO Code of Conduct for the import and release of exotic biological. Pp. 29-36 In: EPPO/CABI workshop on safety and efficacy of biological control in Europe, I.M. Smith (Ed.) Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford.
van Lenteren J.C. (1997). Benefits and risks of introducing exotic macro-biological control agents into Europe. Pp. 15-27 In: EPPO/CABI workshop on safety and efficacy of biological control in Europe, I.M. Smith (Ed.) Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford.
Reducing the risk
Selecting suitable targets for biological control