Why: To improve the dialogue about pests, pesticides and integrated pest management.
Who: The California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the University of California Statewide IPM Program, in a project known as Pests, Pesticides and IPM.
How: Through a two-year series of workshops, focus groups and conversations leading to an April 17 IPM Summit held for a packed house in Davis, California.
What’s Next? Making it happen.
At the summit, the Pests, Pesticides and IPM team presented recommendations and summit speakers shared ideas on how to move IPM forward to an audience of more than 200.
“One things I was happy about was that pretty much everyone accepted the idea that pests are part of the human experience and everyone has to manage pests,” said Jim Farrar, director of UC IPM. “That’s a good shared foundation. What we have to agree on as a society is how we manage pests.”
The recommendations from the project team were distilled from listening sessions focused on pest management in landscapes, structures and agriculture, plus workshops focused on policy and communications and technology and innovation.
“The recommendations were a synthesis of these meetings we held all around the state,” Farrar said. “They’ll also be captured in a white paper published later this summer.”
Here are the team’s recommendations, what it called pathways to the next generation of IPM:
1) Re-invest in IPM at every level: basic and applied research, extension, and education.
2) Increase critical thinking and creative solutions about pests and pesticides by using best practices, such as systems thinking, that engage diverse stakeholders in local and regional innovation collaborations.
3) Make it easier for individuals, businesses, farms, agencies and organizations to choose integrated approaches to managing pests and pesticides:
a) Drive the demand for IPM through synergistic partnerships with industry, commodity, community, educational, research, and government organizations.
b) More effectively partner with pest management professionals and practitioners to become trusted advocates for effective IPM.
c) Partner with the retail industry to improve resources available to consumers about selection of reduced risk pest management solutions.
d) Be creative in engaging community organizations, homeowner associations, and other non-traditional partners, particularly those groups that are trusted by California's diverse communities, to increase their capacity for representation and engagement in IPM.
e) Create incentives for IPM that focus on reduced-risk pest management, resource conservation, sustainability, communication, and use of social sciences to increase adoption of IPM.
4) Bring new pest management tools, practices, and technology, including reduced-risk active ingredients, to market more quickly by reducing regulatory hurdles, particularly for biopesticides.
5) Take advantage of the front-line knowledge and role of field workers and municipal applicators to improve early detection of pests, recommend lower risk approaches, safe practices in the workplace and at home, and to effectively interact with the public.
The project ends in September, but Farrar is hopeful that the conversation will continue and focus on ways to move the recommendations forward to help make IPM the way everyone manages pests.