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Abstract

Alien invasive species (AIS), highly damaging in agriculture, urban areas, and natural terrestrial and marine ecosystems, are establishing at a rate greater than one per month in Florida, as well as elsewhere in the Greater Caribbean Region. These exotics strongly impede trade and development. The overarching purpose of the project is to greatly improve the effectiveness of safeguarding against AIS in the Greater Caribbean Basin that pose major threats to Florida. A long-term goal in the establishment of a regional safeguarding mechanism in which the U.S., together with other countries, would play an important role and which would give maximum protection to Florida. Specific objectives are to enable us (C. G. Davis, Project Director and W. Klassen, Co-Project Director) to: 1.) Assume a formal leadership role in coordinating Florida Agricultural Experiment Station - wider Caribbean Basin alien invasive species initiatives. 2.) Work proactively to arrive at consensus or near-consensus on priority alien invasive species research and outreach activities by networking with U.S. and wider Caribbean Basin institutions and agencies. This will require organization of collaborative Workshops, Seminars, and consultations, among other things. 3.) Provide leadership in efforts to leverage T-STAR funded alien invasive species projects to garner additional resources in support of these efforts. 4.) Monitor, evaluate, and report on progress and accomplishments with respect to Florida Agricultural Experiment Station - wider Caribbean Basin alien invasive species activities, and on progress towards the formation of a regional safeguarding mechanism. A Caribbean Basin/Florida alien invasive species Advisory Committee will be formed to assist in organizing workshops and symposia needed to further develop and implement a regional safeguarding strategy. Funds for these events will be leveraged from various sources.

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