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31 December 2021 Advances in the Regulation of Weed Biological Control in South Africa
P.J. Ivey, M.P. Hill, C. Zachariades
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Regulation of biological control (biocontrol) is essential to ensure its continued safety and to enhance its acceptability as a key contributor to the management of damaging invasive alien plants in South Africa. Local researchers were concerned that regulators may become risk averse and over-cautious, thus preventing introductions of safe biocontrol agents, as bureaucratic impediments have contributed to the decline in the number of biocontrol releases in several other countries. In South Africa, the introduction of a transparent and inclusive review process has averted these concerns. Legislation in South Africa enables departments concerned with protecting environmental and agricultural resources, to work together to regulate potential risks. An interdepartmental committee, advised by independent specialists, facilitate the review of research into the safety of potential biocontrol agents. Regulators have reviewed and timeously assessed 26 potential biocontrol agents between 2013 and 2020. This has ensured that the considerable benefits from safe biocontrol agents are available for management of some of South Africa's worst invasive alien plants. We review the system in South Africa and suggest possible improvements to the regulatory framework.

© Entomological Society of Southern Africa
P.J. Ivey, M.P. Hill, and C. Zachariades "Advances in the Regulation of Weed Biological Control in South Africa," African Entomology 29(3), 1060-1076, (31 December 2021).
Received: 12 October 2020; Accepted: 25 August 2021; Published: 31 December 2021

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Agent releases
host specificity
invasive alien plants
regulatory framework
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