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C·I·B Deputy Director for Science Strategy, Dave Richardson, was an invited participant in an international conference on “Biosecurity in the new Bioeconomy” that was arranged by the CSIRO and largely funded by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The meeting was at the Shine Dome, the impressive headquarters of the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra, Australia in November 2009.

Crop-based biofuel production has grown exponentially in many parts of the world, driven by government policy interventions to achieve national targets and venture capital investments. This urgency may compromise the biosecurity of current and future agricultural production systems. With this in mind, experts from a wide range of fields were asked to consider trajectories, options and scenarios for changes in the ways that different plant species are being assimilated in emerging bioeconomies.

Dave Richardsonís brief was to review the history of experiences with alien tree species in commercial forestry around the world and to derive lessons that could prevent expensive mistakes when selecting and planting alien plant species for biofuel production.

Read the summary of Daveís contribution at the conference.