The IUFRO Working Party 7.03.13 meeting on the ‘Biological Control of Forest Insect Pests and Pathogens’ was hosted by FABI from 5-8 November. The meeting was held at the Future Africa campus at the University of Pretoria, and was the first time this Working Party has met in Africa. 

This relatively small meeting (about 65 people) attracted participants from 27 countries from around the world. The sessions included ‘Classical Biological Control’, ‘Forest Insect Pests in Africa’, ‘Entomopathogens, Nematodes and Insects in Augmentative Biocontrol’, ‘Biological Control of Pathogens and Nematodes’, and the ‘Future of Biological Control’. Prof. Bernard Slippers (FABI, Future Africa) and Mr Michael Peter (Forestry South Africa) were guest speakers, with Keynote addresses from Prof. Timothy Paine (University of California) and Dr Maartje Klapwijk (Swedish University of Agriculture).

Some of the participants also attended the post-meeting field trip from 8-11 November, where they were exposed to some of South Africa’s amazing fauna and flora as well as plantation forestry in the Lowveld. This included visits to sites of infestations of some of the main forestry insect pests, a demonstration of the Sirex biological control programme, and a visit to a forestry nursery. 

Thank you to the Sponsors for this meeting, namely FABI, FAO, CABI, Sappi and York Timbers. And thank you to Prof. Jolanda Roux, Ms Kayla Noeth and the rest of the Sappi team, as well as Mr Philip Croft (ICFR) for organizing excellent field stops!

The meeting was organized by Prof. Brett Hurley and Dr Marc Kenis (CABI, Switzerland), and with much assistance from an incredible FABI team!