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CABI scientists co-organise the global biocontrol conference ICBC 2018 for non-chemical fights against insect pests

CABI scientists co-organise the global biocontrol conference ICBC 2018 for non-chemical fights against insect pests

On 20 September 2018 CABI scientists co-organised, together with Society for Biocontrol Advancement (SBA), Bengaluru, the ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), Bengaluru and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi - a meeting of the world’s leading biocontrol specialists at the 1st International Conference on Biological Control (ICBC 2018) which took place in Bengaluru, India from 27-29 September 2018.

The conference considered a range of biological control approaches and applications – set against the context of up to 30 percent of agricultural yields, globally, being affected by pests and diseases despite intensive chemical pesticide use.

India is a hot spot of biocontrol agent production in the world. CABI`s biocontrol experts Dr Stefan Toepfer and Dr Malvika Chaudhary co-chaired the macrobial and microbial biocontrol sessions.

Djami Djeddour, Weed Biocontrol Scientist, and Dr David Smith, Director Biological Resources, both delivered keynote speeches. Djami Djeddour delivered a keynote speech, entitled ‘Biological Control of Invasive Weeds – Historical Perspective, Challenges and Future Prospects,’ that presented an overview of the biocontrol of weeds around the world – such as the prickly pear cactus Opuntia vulgaris. She highlighted the potential for biocontrol use to be resumed in India and bring into focus the challenges faced by modern-day practitioners and the need for international collaboration to maximise the impact of this non-commercial and sustainable alternative to chemical control.

Meanwhile, Dr Smith talked about how CABI is ensuring its research with genetic resources are conserved and shared with others as part of its commitment to complying with the Nagoya Protocol. CABI recently cemented this intention through the creation of its Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) policy. He extenuated his presentation with reference to his paper: ‘Biological control and the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing – a case of effective due diligence,’ published in Biocontrol Science and Technology, which looks at the benefits of open access to biological control agents.

Other CABI scientists from all around the globe shared their expertise, such as on the production and utilization of macrobials for insect pest and disease management, including Dr Steve Edgington, Dr Philip Weyl, Dr Stefan Toepfer, Dr Malvika Chaudhary and Yelitza Colmenarez. CABI also sponsored Professor Richard Stouthamer, from the University of California, Riverside, as a keynote speaker and Plantwise partners from Nepal and Myanmar to attend and reflect on the value of data from plant clinics. Plant clinics are a meeting place where local plant health extension officers, known as plant doctors, help farmers struggling with plant pests and diseases.  Dr Edgington and Dr Weyl presented on the CABI Biopesticides Portal and parthenium biocontrol.

Before to the conference, Dr Smith said, “It is only by working in partnership to share our knowledge and expertise on insect pest and disease management – and the free availability of genetic resources for research purposes – that we can collectively advance our understanding of biocontrol methods which will ultimately benefit moves to ensure global food security.

“We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues at ICBC 2018 and continuing the fight to prevent potentially devastating crop losses through non-chemical and more environmentally sustainable biological controls.”


Additional information

Find out more about ICBC 2018 from the official website

You can view CABI’s Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) policy, including all appropriate references, here.

Read more about the Nagoya Protocol here.


Relevant paper

CABI scientists Dr David Smith, Dr Hariet Hinz, Dr Joseph Mulema, Dr Philip Weyl and Dr Matthew Ryan co-authored a paper published in Biological Science and Technology ‘Biological control and the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing – a case of effective due diligence.’ DOI:10.1080/09583157.2018.1460317 It is available as an open access document here.



You can read the full abstract from Weyl et al: ‘Initiation of a classical biological control programme against Parthenium hysterophorus in Pakistan’ here.

The full abstract from Djami Djeddour: ‘Biological Control of Invasive Weeds – Historical perspective, challenges and future prospects’ can be read here.

The full abstract ‘Emerging opportunities in field of capacity building and development to promote use of microbial pesticide in Asia,’ by Chaudhary et al can be read here.

You can read the full abstract from Kyin Kyin Win et al: ‘Developing biocontrol and bio-based recommendations for plant doctors in Myanmar using CABI Plantwise online data,’ here.



An article about the Smith et al paper has been published on The CABI Blog which can be read here.


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