FABI researcher Dr Brett Hurley recently visited Rwanda, as part of a project funded by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The project aims to obtain information on the presence, distribution and prevalence of eucalypt insect pests in Rwanda.

Eucalyptus is the most planted tree species in Rwanda and provides an important socio-economic role, providing fuel and fibre and supporting a diverse range of stakeholders. However, non-native insect pests are resulting in considerable damage to these trees. Strategies are available to manage these pests, but the implementation and success of these strategies is currently hindered by a lack of knowledge of the pests involved, including what insect pest species are present, and the distribution and prevalence of those species. Dr Hurley’s visit was to assist with initiating a survey of eucalypt insect pests throughout the country and to train local staff who will continue with the survey over a three-week period. When finished, this survey will provide data to inform strategies for the management of eucalypt insect pests in Rwanda.