Biodiversity and Climate Change
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Biodiversity and Climate Change

Linkages at International, National and Local Levels

Edited by Frank Maes, An Cliquet, Willemien du Plessis and Heather McLeod-Kilmurray

This insightful book deals with the complexity of linking biodiversity with climate change. It combines perspectives from international, national and local case studies, and also addresses this question using a thematic approach.
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Chapter 15: Preventing and mitigating the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss through biosecurity

Opi Outhwaite


Preventing damage to ecosystems, loss of species and the impacts of global climate change is a priority at all levels of policy and regulation – in theory if not always in practice. Other global challenges, including those enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals include ensuring food safety and security for all people, achieving sustainable livelihoods and combating the spread and prevalence of diseases. The introduction and spread of pests, diseases, pathogens and invasive species poses a serious risk to the attainment of these goals and measures have been and are being developed at national, regional and international levels to respond to these threats. This chapter discusses the concept of ‘biosecurity’ as one of the approaches that can assist in the attainment of the above goals. The first part of the chapter outlines the concept of biosecurity, its relationship with biodiversity and climate change, and the legal frameworks relevant to its implementation. In the second part of the chapter some of the obstacles to the adoption of a biosecurity approach are discussed and possible developments to facilitate more effective regulation are consid- ered. These include achieving a consistent definition of biosecurity; building domestic capacity; responding to technological advances; increasing harmonization and cooperation at the international level; improving the relationship between agricultural and environmental frameworks and understanding the economic costs of biosecurity. Pests, diseases, pathogens and invasive alien species (IAS) have a number of negative impacts globally. Agricultural pests attack crops, resulting in economic losses and affecting food security.

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