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Abstract

While globalization of markets and freer trade may have benefits associated with the expansion of trade, globalization is also associated with the increased risk to agriculture and the natural environment from the incidence of invasive / exotic pests. The impact of invasive species could be severe and long term in nature thereby setting back the development process of countries so affected. Given the importance of agriculture and environmental resources to the development of countries in the region comprising the Caribbean Basin, a strategy for addressing the associated risk and threat is urgently required and timely. Designing an effective strategy for risk reduction and management with respect to invasive species requires an efficient intelligence/early warning system so as to ensure the timely adoption of precautionary measures to prevent entry or measures to contain the spread and damage caused by invasives where the third border has been breached. The response, however, must be informed by scientific knowledge. In this regard the S&T/R&D support is an essential component of any comprehensive strategy to address the threat of invasives. This paper examines the S&T/R&D capacity resident at one of the Region's major institutions, the University of the West Indies. The methodology for this assessment includes a review of recent research at the UWI as well an examination of the competencies in relevant areas of science that are resident at the various Campuses of the institution.

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