Global online workshop on risks of exotic forest pests will be "live" in mid-April

March 04, 2001

Asheville, NC--Taking advantage of the international capabilities of the Internet to address a global issue, a workshop and symposium entitled "Risks of Exotic Forest Pests and their Impact on Trade" is scheduled for April 16-29, 2001. Nonnative, invasive species such as Asian longhorned beetle, gypsy moth, chestnut blight, and Dutch elm disease have all entered the United States through wood and wood products, and similar destructive organisms have inadvertently gone overseas from here. Losses in environmental quality and forest productivity run in the billions of dollars every year in the United States.

The objective of the workshop is to reduce movement of forest pests with a minimal impact on trade. USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station is one of the sponsors of this workshop, along with the American Phytopathological Society, Fiji Islands SPC-Plant Protection Service, and Sociedad Espanola De Fitopatologia. Representatives of all major land masses are hosting different sessions of the symposium. Dr. Kerry Britton of the Southern Research Station said, "We are very excited about this opportunity to have discussions with industry, and our scientific counterparts around the world, and to discuss openly the efficacy, costs, and benefits of the options to prevent the world-wide damage caused by nonnative forest pests with everyone who is interested in this topic." Scientists, regulators, industry, and others concerned with trade in wood and wood products are invited to read about and discuss the risk of exotic pests to global forest resources, and their impact on trade. The symposium includes discussions on current and proposed regulations to reduce pest entry, and explores implementation of these safeguards with a minimal impact on trade. The product scope of the workshop includes solid wood packing material, logs, wood chips, unseasoned lumber, nursery and propagative material.
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In addition to the sponsors of the workshop, several scientific societies around the world are endorsing the event: the Asian Association of Societies for Plant Pathology, the Canadian Phytopathological Society, the Chinese Society for Plant Pathology, the Entomological Society of America, the Entomological Society of China, the Mycological Society of America, the Society of American Foresters, the Society of Nematologists.

The Web site is active now for those who wish to sign up for this free workshop and preview the session outline at http://www.apsnet.org/meetings/ExoticPests/top.htm . Short papers will be posted April 16, and the discussion sessions will be "live" April 16-29.

North Central Research Station

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