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Working Together We Can Stop Invasive Insect Pests ESA and NWPCA 24 PalletCentral • September-October 2019 t first glance, entomology (the study of insects and related arthropods, like spiders and mites) may not seem to have a lot of overlap with the work of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA). But, when it comes to pests that travel inside wooden pallets and other dunnage, the two organizations have a great opportunity to address the invasive species challenge. Charles Darwin, perhaps one of the most recognized names in evolution and biology, once said, "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." There are important lessons that professional organizations can draw from that observation these 200 plus years later: Namely that a collective approach to problem-solving will likely surpass an individual approach. That's the idea behind the Grand Challenges Agenda for Entomology (GCAFE), a collaborative initiative launched and spearheaded by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), the largest insect science society in the world. GCAFE is a way to pull together the world's entomological community to look at some of the world's most challenging problems and determine what part of the solutions can be addressed with insect science. These issues include biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, reducing human suffering caused by vector-borne diseases, and – more relevant to this audience – combatting and controlling invasive species. In November of 2018, ESA partnered with the Canadian and British Columbia entomological societies to host a summit 1 in Vancouver that explored invasive pests of the Pacific Rim. Over 150 attendees discussed invasive species prevention, detection, response, and policy. Additionally, they worked on developing talking points to find ways to better articulate the issues to lawmakers, regulators, and other interested stakeholders. Some of the key takeaways from the summit included 2 : • International collaboration. The problem is global, therefore the solutions must be global as well. • Capacity. As USDA Deputy Administrator Mr. Osama El- Lissy described in a spring 2019 interview with PalletCentral, 3 the amount of goods being shipped is too large to inspect, so other strategies – such as inspection at the point of embarkation – must be explored. • Innovation. In addition to using existing tools more effectively, new tools should address capacity issues and sustainability of our prevention and management approaches. • Funding. Competition for scarce federal and other government funds is a challenge for most nations, forcing agencies that manage invasive species to compete with other high-profile national and international challenges. A INDUSTRY By Chris Stelzig

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