Forestry in South Africa
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June : Good News about Leptocybe Biological Control

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13 June, 2012


NOTE FROM: Michael Peter of Forestry South Africa 

The DG of DAFF has followed through on his undertaking to us in our last meeting with him in CT and has signed the release of the Leptocybe nematode. This is apparently unprecedented as Prof Wingfield advised that it has previously taken years for such releases, so it is good news indeed and will hopefully start in due course to stem the impact of this pest.

In addition to our own FSA representations, several of our member companies either wrote to DAFF or met with them and this helped immensely to highlight the urgency of the application by FABI and all of those members are thanked for this.

Chris Chapman from SA FORESTRY magazine must also be thanked for covering the story which would have also helped greatly in this cause.

Michael Peter
Executive Director

NOTE FROM: Bernard Slippers from TPCP

Below is wonderful news, namely that our application to release Selitrichodes neseri, a parasitic wasp of Leptocybe invasa, has been approved. This has been made possible because of focused capacity building and dedicated work of a large team of people at FABI, strong support from industry (especially via FSA) and assistance from many within the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries.

Ahead of us now lies a period of intense and careful work to bulk up populations such that we can effectively release the parasitic wasp in South Africa. We are hoping to be able to bulk up insects to make a first release very soon.  Clearly  the first releases will have to be done with care, and will be limited, so as not to damage our base populations from which further bulking must be done for a broader release strategy.

Thank you to all that have helped us to reach this great milestone. NOW we can also hope that the parasitoid, that has been very effective in quarantine, live up to our expectations in the field.

More details and news will follow soon. 

Regards and thank you  again.
Bernard Slippers (on behalf of the TPCP team at FABI)
PS:  NOTE from Rorisang at DAFF follows:

NOTE FROM: Rorisang Mahlakoana from DAFF

The Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries granted approval for the Directorate Plant Health (DPH) to make use of the recommendation reports provided by the Forestry industry.

The reports from the independent external reviewers have been evaluated by the PRA experts and the final recommendation is that Selitrichodes neseri prov. nom. be released into the environment as a biological control agent against eucalyptus gall wasp, Leptocybe invasa.

PRA would like to advise you to apply for an import permit if you wish to import mass consignments and for release in the environment, permission from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) should be requested. The contact person at DEA is Mr. Reggie Nkosi, email; Telephone number; 012 310 3036.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need clarity/additional information.

Rorisang Mahlakoana (Ms)
Scientist Production: Pest Risk Analysis
Directorate: Plant Health
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries