26 October 2013 – This week, hundreds of invasive species experts from across the world gathered in Qingdao, China, for the 2nd International Congress on Biological Invasions (ICBI2013). As a co-organiser and sponsor of ICBI2013, CABI played a key role in the event through its membership of the international organising and scientific committees, and with on-the-ground support from the CABI-China Joint-Lab.

Meeting to address the challenges of the migration and spread of alien invasive species (IAS), the attending experts agreed that international cooperation continues to be essential for halting the onslaught of IAS. Invasive species cost billions of dollars annually to the global economy and place heavy pressures on biodiversity, ecological safety and food security in habitats and ecosystems across the planet. The spread of IAS has been exacerbated by the rapid development of international trade, tourism, and transportation.

Strategic and synergistic international cooperation is the cornerstone for effective and successful prevention and control of the spread of IAS globally, making ICBI2013 an important platform for exchanging experience and ideas. Exploring new opportunities for collaboration and networking, and finding way to join forces to find viable solutions for managing IAS ecologically and sustainably, were key parts of the event.

In his opening speech, Prof. Wu Kongming, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Chairperson of the ICBI International Organising Committee, said, “ICBI will continue to facilitate the exchange of cutting edge research and technical innovations among experts working in the field of biological invasions. The prevention and control of IAS has become an important concomitant issue that needs to be tackled in tandem with sustainable development of global agriculture.”

As it did at the 1st ICBI held in November 2009 in Fuzhou, China, CABI played a key role at the event. CABI scientists led the organisation of three technical sessions, gave 10 presentations and showcased five technical posters. At his speech representing the event organisers and sponsors, Dr Loke Wai Hong, CABI Regional Director for Southeast Asia, and Vice Chairperson of the ICBI International Organising Committee, said, “It is our pleasure to work together with so many international and Chinese partners again in the organisation of ICBI. As an international organisation with 48 member countries and strong IAS research and capacity building credentials, CABI is well positioned to catalyse and facilitate international exchanges and collaboration in the IAS community. We are happy to play a bridging role in international collaboration which addresses the global challenges confronting food security caused by IAS and the potential solutions to combat and mitigate these.”

Built on the overwhelming success of the ICBI2009, ICBI2013 was jointly sponsored and organised by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the China Society of Plant Protection, the Centre for Management of Invasive Alien Species of Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Qingdao Agricultural University, CABI and the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network in collaboration with 15 other renown Chinese and international institutions.

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