This video is part of a SESYNC documentary series, called: Research In Action, which explores stories of socio-environmental research teams studying wildfire, invasive insect pathways, and water governance in the United States and beyond.
Plants and Pests is video highlighting the SESYNC Global Live Plant Trade team, whose work centered on the following conundrum: A globalized economy means there is a consumer demand for consistency across markets, however, a large global market—the commercial trade of live plants, has historically served as a major pathway for introducing invasive pests that have caused major damage to ecosystems. Therefore, understanding the extent of environmental and economic risks associated with this market was a key focus for this team of economists, biologists, and policy experts.
Leaders of the group, Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, of Resources for the Future and Andrew “Sandy” Liebhold, of the U.S. National Forest Service, explain how this research collaboration identified cost-efficient strategies for reducing the economic and environmental risks associated with invasive pests. Ultimately, they say, that the co-development of the research project with regulators in the industry, laid the groundwork for the optimal end result—a shift in policy.