24 May 2006

Palau hosts meeting on fighting pests

7:49 pm on 24 May 2006

The coordinator of the Pacific Invasives Learning Network says the group's inaugural meeting in Palau is a boost in the fight against invasive species.

11 countries and more than eight regional organisations are being represented at the five-day meeting.

Dr Gillian Key says the delegates have decided to concentrate on four common areas: strategic planning, public awareness, weed management and small island restoration.

Dr Key says she has been encouraged by the meeting.

"People are so enthused to meet other practitioners sharing the same obstacles, inventing the same wheel and perhaps some a bit bigger, some a bit smaller, some are not as round as others but putting their heads together and the excitement that is going on is wonderful. I'm extremely enthused by it myself."

Dr Key says it is important that people realise the threat that invasive species are in the Pacific and that they endanger the region's unique bio-diversity .