An insect pest infestation is a recently detected insect pest population, including an incursion, or a sudden significant increase of an established insect, disease agents or weed population in an area leading to damage to plants in production fields, forests or natural habitats and causing substantial damage to productivity, biodiversity or natural resources (adapted from FAO, 2019).
Higher temperature, severe and extreme weather events and drought stress can all result in reduced vigour of trees, making them more vulnerable to outbreaks of native and introduced pests and diseases. For example, the dieback of millions of hectares of pine forests caused by outbreaks of native bark beetles in Central America, Europe and North America is associated with climate change, impacts of extreme weather events, and, in some cases, inadequate forest management practices (FAO, 2020b).
Favourable climatic conditions, disruption of ecosystems and negligence of crop/forest hygiene contribute to growth in insect populations which can cause substantial damage regularly. In many cases, long distance spread of insects results from transportation of infested goods.
Risk reduction measures
Following principles of sustainable plant production, sustainable forest management and integrated pest management practices are the best approach for control, focusing on diversified production systems, regular surveillance, preparedness before potential outbreaks, and a rapid response to prevent escalation to unmanageable scales (Guzewich et al., 1997). Post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) is designed to evaluate immediate needs for recovery and restoration for better disaster response (HIP).