Options for Enabling Policies and Regulatory Environments | 447

without subsidies. In countries where these subsidies have been introduced the key policy challenge is to improve cost effectiveness through competitive bidding; environmental cost-benefit analysis; and performance-based payments for farmers to remove environmentally sensitive land from crop production.

Pests. Invasive alien species (IAS) are a threat to global biodiversity and can have devastating effects on both agricultural and natural systems at large scales after small isolated introductions. A major policy challenge from IAS is the fact that the vast majority of current and future IAS were either poorly known species, or were unknown as pests before their introduction to a new location. This is the main reason for the failure of past policies to deal with IAS, even those using the best available risk assessment methodologies (Keller et al., 2007).

Future IAS policies should be based on the following principles in order to mitigate this weakness.

  • National IAS systems should be linked to regional and global databases of known IAS and their treatment.
  • IAS control systems should be based on a "pathways of entry" approach where detection and control effort is focused on the most likely points of entry into a country (or region). Introductions of IAS occur through various channels or pathways, both intentionally and unintentionally. Primary pathways of intentional introduction of potential IAS include horticultural products, food products, and exotic pets, the use of nonnative organisms in aquaculture and for restocking of marine and inland water systems for commercial and recreational fisheries; scientific research; horticulture; trade in pets and aquarium species; biocontrol agents; and ex situ breeding projects. Pathways of unintentional introductions include ballast water and ballast sediments, ship hulls, packaging materials and cargo containers, garbage and waste, international assistance programs; tourism; military activities, and unprocessed materials, such as timber.
  • Risks posed by pathways of IAS prior to introduction and establishment should be addressed and mitigated both before the IAS reach the border and at the border. Preventing introductions before they occur is the most effective and cost-efficient approach to addressing IAS issues. Removing IAS once they have become established requires significantly more financial, technical, and personnel resources than preventing their introduction; and, often, complete removal is not even possible.
  • An operating principle of the system should be that it is based on a list of approved species for deliberate introduction, and that any species not on the list must pass through a risk assessment process before being approved for entry.

A number of policy initiatives have been undertaken for specific major pathways of introduction including:

  • Importation of living plants and plant material.Many attempts are being made to address plant-related pathways of invasive species. One voluntary initiative, based on the Missouri Botanic Garden St. Louis Declaration, is developing and implementing self-governed and self


regulated codes of conduct for nursery professionals, government agencies, the gardening public (specifically garden clubs), landscape architects, and botanic gardens/arboreta, designed to stop use and distribution of invasive plant species. Working with these respective industries, the process has generally appealed to the responsible use and import of horticultural products by the private sector to minimize the introduction of IAS. There is an urgent need for the IPPC to more effectively address, perhaps through a quarantine/sterilization- based international sanitary and phytosanitary measure (ISPM) based the problem of "hitchhikers" on horticultural products, which are potential IAS, but may not be considered plant pests per se (e.g., spiders, ants).

  • FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.This code includes a section encouraging the use of legal and administrative frameworks to promote responsible aquaculture, including discussions with neighboring states prior to the introduction of nonindigenous species, minimizing the impacts of nonindigenous or genetically altered fish stocks, as well as minimizing any adverse genetic or disease impacts. While the Code serves as a useful guide, it is not focused on specific prevention, management and control measures related to IAS within the field of aquaculture and fisheries.

Given the role of trade in the production and transport of goods, approaches to regulating pathways of IAS should consider relevant trade rules and agreements. The World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) defines the basic rights and obligations of WTO members regarding use of sanitary and phytosanitary measures to protect human, animal or plant life or health from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases, disease carrying organisms; and prevent or limit other damage from the entry, establishment or spread of pests (see 7.3.3 for details). Genetic resources and agrobiodiversity

Three major types of policy tools are available to support conservation of genetic resources (1) public investment in in situ and ex situ conservation; (2) clearer intellectual property rights, including for farmer innovations, particularly in developing countries; and (3) material transfer agreements (Rubenstein et al., 2005). Apart from ecological approaches to agriculture, connected to nature management, strategies for conservation and sustainable use of agricultural genetic resources also include "ex situ" and "in situ, on farm" approaches. Ex situ conservation in gene banks is well established for major crops under the auspices of the FAO by the centers of the CGIAR, and at national plant and farm animal gene banks. A Global Crop Diversity Trust has recently been initiated to generate funds for the sustainable conservation of the most important collections worldwide, on behalf of all future generations, and Norway is hosting a long-term conservation facility in the Arctic at Svalbard. Public policies converged progressively through the International Undertaking (1985) to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT PGRFA - 2005) providing special rules for the conservation