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Association for Applied Acridology International
(AAAI)

Association for Applied Acridology International Logo

Solutions without Limits
by
Scientists without Borders


NEW! Locust and Grasshopper Biocontrol Newsletter No. 1 NEW!
NEW! AAAI Locust and Grasshopper Training Courses NEW!

CONTENTS

SUMMARY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BOARD OF ADVISORS (University of Wyoming)

RATIONALE

Former and Existing Programs
Current Needs and Opportunities
A New Paradigm

STRUCTURE AND LOGISTICS

Institutional Setting
Objectives
Quality, Credibility, and Objectivity
Timeline and Financial Plan
Organizational Structure

PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1ST WORKSHOP

PRODUCTS (Including NEW! information about ongoing and completed projects)

ASSOCIATES AND PARTNERS

CONCLUSION


SUMMARY


For thousands of years, grasshoppers and locusts have been among the most destructive pests in the world, threatening human prosperity and survival. Although many advances have been made in our capacity to manage these competitors for our food, agriculture continues to lose phenomenal quantities of production to these insects. Ironically, as new techniques, perspectives, and products have become increasingly sophisticated in the last 20 years, the capacity to refine and transfer the methods and knowledge has declined. Formerly productive and effective programs, such as the Anti-Locust Research Centre (ALRC) in England, the Program for Operational Acridology (PRIFAS, France), the Rangeland Entomology Laboratory (USDA-ARS, United States), and the All-Russian Plant Protection Institute (VIZR, Russia) have dramatically diminished their capacity for providing expertise, training, and applied research.

These programs have suffered from four factors: 1) the erratic population dynamics of the acridid species of interest leading to "feast and famine" funding cycles, 2) declining interest in centralized and internationalized programs on the part of governments facing domestic economic issues, 3) dwindling scientific budgets precluding intensive concentration of expertise within any single country, and 4) reliance on single, charismatic and strong leaders without whose presence programs lost momentum. However, the need for expertise, training, and research in grasshopper and locust management shows no evidence of diminishing. For example, Madagascar is battling a plague of the migratory locust covering three-quarters of their country, a persistent series of grasshopper and locust outbreaks have developed throughout the CIS countries (12 million ha were treated since 1990 in Kazakhstan, alone), the western US is facing a severe rangeland grasshopper outbreak causing >50% loss of forage across millions of hectares in 1998, and northern Africa is reporting localized buildups of desert locusts that may portend the next plague on that continent. This proposal presents a new and innovative approach to addressing the devastating, ongoing and future grasshopper and locust outbreaks throughout the world.

We are pleased to announce the development of the Association for Applied Acridology International administered at the University of Wyoming. The design of the Association avoids factors that have undermined previous efforts to provide expert advice, training, and research. The Association is comprised of two fundamental elements. First, there is a group of 25-30 "Associates" representing the finest applied acridologists and supporting scientists from around the world. Second, 10-15 of the world’s best organizations dedicated to the study and management of acridids form a group of Institutional Partners. The Association will be funded through a coalition of private industries and international agencies. The diversification of expertise and funding will allow the Association’s scientists to apply their knowledge to a global clientele. International markets for pest management products (insecticides, biological control agents, survey and monitoring methods, computer software, etc.) will provide the incentive for industrial and international support of the Association, and the world-wide nature of outbreaks (somewhere in the world an acridid outbreak is invariably underway in any given year) will provide continual opportunities.

While the capacity for any single nation to sustain a critical mass of expertise in acridology has diminished, the quality and quantity of internationally dispersed experience and knowledge is extremely high. As such, the key is to bring together the world’s best minds in the field of applied acridology to collaborate in an intellectually rigorous, professionally unbiased context to sustain natural and agricultural systems during grasshopper and locust outbreaks. This is the task of the Association for Applied Acridology International.



AAAI CONTENTS

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