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item Showler, Allan

Submitted to: Journal of Orthoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/19/2001
Publication Date: 12/1/2001
Citation: Lockwood, J.A., Showler, A., Latchininsky, A.V. 2001. Can we make locust and grasshopper management sustainable?. Journal of Orthoptera Research. 10(2):315-329.

Interpretive Summary: Locust and grasshopper control was assessed by examining four dimensions of scale spatial, human, interest, and temporal in three case study areas: Wyoming, Eritrea, and Irkutsk. Interventions against locusts and grasshoppers tend to result in conflict when benefit and cost are mismatched, and decentralized pest management systems tailored to local conditions generally lead to inefficiencies, but site specificity more closely aligns the scales of costs and benefits. There are economically imperfect but politically viable ways of creating adaptive and possibly sustainable locust and grasshopper pest management programs.

Technical Abstract: Scale is a conceptual problem in assessing the sustainability of acridid control. Using case studies from North America (Wyoming), Africa (Eritrea) and Asia (Irkutsk), control systems were analyzed. There are at least four dimensions to the question of scale and value of acridid pest management. Spatial scale ranges from the individual farm to the international community. The human scale recognizes that the purposes of control encompass personal needs, corporate profits, food security, balance of trade, environmental integrity, and political stability. The interest scale acknowledges that competing desires interact in assessing the value of interventions, including economic, environmental, and cultural values. The temporal scale, from daily to intergenerational, of costs/benefits is central to assessing sustainability. Differences and commonalities emerged from the analysis comparing the three case studies. For example, as the scale decreases, the perceived value of control generally increases, often in a non-linear manner that suggests changes in quantity may result in qualitative changes in perceived valuation and discontinuities in sustainability. Decentralized pest management systems tailored to local opportunities and obstacles generally lead toward systemic inefficiencies, but site specificity more closely aligns the scales of costs and benefits. A sustainable acridid pest management system must be scaled to meet spatial and temporal contexts of the agriculturalist. Although centralization emerges as part of the solution from a bottom-up conceptualization of the problem, to be sustainable the resulting centralized organizations must ultimately serve the next level down, not higher levels of bureaucracy.