Will Biological Control Be Impossible in the Future?

Will Biological Control Be Impossible in the Future? After a flying start of the Commission on Biological Control and Access and Benefit Sharing, Matthew Cock and Joop van Lenteren worked, with the help of the Commission members and assistance of many colleagues on the report for FAO. The report provides an overview of classical and inundative biological control, and presents a discussion and 27 case studies illustrating the international collaboration in the field of biological control and problems that may arise if a monetary Access and Benefit Sharing system would be developed. A link to a pdf file of the report can be found at the end of this page.

The main conclusions of the IOBC report were presented by Jaques Brodeur during a special meeting preceding the 12th Regular Meeting of the CGRFA. Part of the 12th Regular Meeting was attended by J.C. van Lenteren to follow the latest developments in ABS regulations and to explain the concerns of the biological control community with regards to a monetary sharing ABS regulation. We received several very positive reactions about the viewpoints expressed in the IOBC report prepared for FAO. Country representatives often had not realized (a) how general biological control was applied, (b) that in classical biological control no direct profits were involved for the biological control community performing the work, (c) how little money was involved in commercial biological control, and (d) how dependent biological control workers are of exotic natural enemies. The report was also presented and discussed at the November 2009 CBD meeting in Montreal, Canada.

Will Biological Control Be Impossible in the Future?The IOBC report to FAO minimized political statements, to focus on a factual summary.  The Commission on Biological Control and ABS thought it was essential to present these issues to the biological control community, as an important part of this community is still unaware or just beginning to understand the possible implications of ABS. Therefore, the Commission wrote a forum article for the journal BioControl.

The BioControl paper deliberately takes a more political stance and takes an advocacy role on behalf of the IOBC community. A link to a pdf file of this paper is provided at the end of this page. We would like to stress the importance of the final sentences of this paper: “Finally, we urge biological control (BC) leaders in each country to join forces and get in touch with the ABS contact point for their country as soon as possible, and raise the issues surrounding the practice of BC and ABS, using local examples when appropriate, so their national delegates to the ABS discussions in 2010 are appropriately informed. Only if the BC community of practice gets involved in the discussions now, can they expect their needs to be taken into consideration.” 

The IOBC Commission will continue its work with the drafting of a document describing best practices for ABS in relation to biological control including guidelines for joint research that are equitable, but not restrictive.

Translations of the Executive Summary of the FAO report are currently prepared, a list of translated summaries is provided below.


The following persons/organisations are acknowledged for the translations:

  • Courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the French translation
  • Dr. Yurij Gninenko (Secretary General IOBC EPRS, Russia), for the Russian translation
  • Prof.dr. Xu Rumei (Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China) for assistance with the Chinese translation
  • César Monzó, Alejandro Tena and Dr. Alberto Urbaneja (Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias, Valencia, Spain), Prof.dr. Josep A. Jaques Miret (Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, Spain) for the Spanish translation
  • Prof.dr. E. Yano (Nara, Japan) for the Japanese translation

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