“My garden is the one with no trees:” Residential Lived Experiences of the 2012 Asian Longhorn Beetle Eradication Programme in Kent, England
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Studies on the management of biosecurity outbreaks have increased in recent years. Whether these outbreaks affect plant, animal, or human health, there is a strong tendency to employ an “emergency modality” management approach which focuses on speedy eradication and containment. However, there is conflict between rapid response management and prescribed best practices for stakeholder engagement. To explore these tensions, we focus on the 2012 Asian longhorn beetle outbreak and eradication programme in Kent, England. Hailed as a success story by policy leaders, this case study is explored using qualitative research with residents who were directly affected by the eradication. By considering the specific impacts of tree health management on a local level, we recommend that outbreak management programmes take an “open” approach (Leach 2010). This includes focusing on good communication and long term democratic engagement, which are crucial for cultivating trust and promoting biosecure citizenship.
KeywordsOutbreak management Stakeholder engagement Introduced species Tree health Qualitative research Southeastern England
This research would not have been possible without the residents of Paddock Wood who so generously gave us their time and their stories, and we are sincerely thankful for their participation. We are also grateful for comments and suggestions from Edward Eaton and Chris Quine on early versions of this paper, as well as for the constructive and thoughtful feedback we received from reviewers at Human Ecology. The Department for Food, Environment, and Rural Affairs (Defra) supplied funding for this research as part of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Action Plan (Project TH0107). Please note that the study results expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of funders.
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