Society for Conservation Biology

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Biological Security

Defining the Issue

Globalization has increased the rate of trade, and with it, the movement of living things around the world. Our biological security is threatened both by the illegal trade of wildlife and plants, as well as the spread of invasive species which are inadvertently spread through legitimate commerce. Invasive species represents one of the primary drivers of species decline and extinction and result in substantial economic costs to society. Unsustainable trade in wildlife or plants can result in the extinction of species and cause ecosystems to unravel.  Applying the best available science and technologies can stop both the dangerous exports and imports of wildlife as well as the spread of invasive species. Unfortunately, trade laws and regulations have not kept up with the scale of this global problem.

How SCB Works on Biological Security Issues

SCB works to promote policies that control the transport and importation of invasive species, especially where the movement of invasive species is facilitated by trade in illegally harvested plants and animals. SCB has led workshops for scientists and academics on controlling invasive species. We have also held meetings with the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, in which we have laid out succinct plans for using current law to increase protection for our biological security.

How You Can Get Involved

SCB has begun to assemble volunteer task forces of SCB members to help the society address each of its five policy priorities. If you would like to volunteer to work on SCB’s Biological Security task force, please contact the policy director or co-Chair Peter Jenkins.