Locust plagues are natural hazards that have been historically regarded as disasters because of their impact on agricultural production. In Australia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the impacts of locusts led to significant hardships among farmers struggling to establish viable individual livelihoods. The use of pesticides for locust control and the establishment during the 1970s of coordinated response arrangements has significantly mitigated the economic and social impact of plagues. The main risk now is of control failure, which could lead to major economic losses, but significant concern also exists about unnecessary interventions; contamination of non-target crops, pastures, and livestock; effects on natural ecosystems; and injuries and health hazards for control staff and the general public. Establishment of a national specific-purpose locust control organization with expert staff and formal links to regional stakeholders has allowed development of appropriate and effective responses to these risks. These responses have now been formalized as defined operating procedures. Mitigating the risks of locust control is ultimately as important as mitigating the impact of the locust plagues themselves.
|Title of host publication||Biological and Environmental Hazards, Risks, and Disasters|
|Editors||J F Shroder, R Sivanpillai|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Name||Biological and Environmental Hazards, Risks, and Disasters|