Australian Center for Biosecurity and Environmental Economics

Canberra, Australia

Australian Center for Biosecurity and Environmental Economics

Canberra, Australia
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Cook D.C.,Cooperative Research Center for National Plant Biosecurity | Cook D.C.,University of Western Australia | Cook D.C.,Australian Center for Biosecurity and Environmental Economics | Liu S.,Cooperative Research Center for National Plant Biosecurity | And 15 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Benefit cost analysis is a tried and tested analytical framework that can clearly communicate likely net changes in producer welfare from investment decisions to diverse stakeholder audiences. However, in a plant biosecurity context, it is often difficult to predict policy benefits over time due to complex biophysical interactions between invasive species, their hosts, and the environment. In this paper, we demonstrate how a break-even style benefit cost analysis remains highly relevant to biosecurity decision-makers using the example of banana bunchy top virus, a plant pathogen targeted for eradication from banana growing regions of Australia. We develop an analytical approach using a stratified diffusion spread model to simulate the likely benefits of exclusion of this virus from commercial banana plantations over time relative to a nil management scenario in which no surveillance or containment activities take place. Using Monte Carlo simulation to generate a range of possible future incursion scenarios, we predict the exclusion benefits of the disease will avoid Aus$15.9-27.0 million in annual losses for the banana industry. For these exclusion benefits to be reduced to zero would require a bunchy top re-establishment event in commercial banana plantations three years in every four. Sensitivity analysis indicates that exclusion benefits can be greatly enhanced through improvements in disease surveillance and incursion response. © 2012 Cook et al.


Cook D.C.,University of Western Australia | Cook D.C.,Australian Center for Biosecurity and Environmental Economics | Kristensen N.P.,Lund University | Liu S.,Australian Center for Biosecurity and Environmental Economics | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2014

This paper takes inspiration from the field of bio-mimicry to suggest what a plant biosecurity system might look like if it was modelled on the human immune system. We suggest structural and institutional changes to current biosecurity systems that would facilitate adaptive preparation and response policies, focusing particularly on the Australian plant biosecurity system. By improving information exchanges, interpretation and managing overlapping complementary response capabilities of this system, novel policies emerge that increase resilience to harmful weeds, pests and diseases. This is achieved by adding an element of flexibility in invasion response to cope with different circumstances and contexts, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach. While we find bio-mimicry to be a potentially useful system design tool, there are key differences between the immune and biosecurity systems that the analogy makes clear. Perhaps the most important of these stems from the inability of immune systems to imagine future threats. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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