Keywords: biofuels, biosecurity, climate change, ecology, globalisation, human health, invasive species, migration, pathogens, population, trade, transportation, biological security, infectious diseases, biological threats, risk assessment
Biosecurity from the ecologist's perspective: developing a more comprehensive approach
National planning for biological security should encompass more than just protection against biological weapons. Global forces such as the introduction and spread of invasive species (including emerging infectious diseases), in conjunction with population growth, climate change and sea-level rise, also constitute threats to security. These linked biological and abiotic phenomena make the United States and other countries less secure by degrading ecosystems and ecosystem services, posing risks to human health and safety, and altering patterns of agriculture, settlement, migration and economic opportunity. Several other countries already use a more comprehensive definition of biosecurity than the USA, one that includes biological threats to the environment, the economy, and human health and wellbeing. We assert that an expanded definition of biosecurity is necessary in a world undergoing rapid change due to altered climate, growing population and increased rates of trade, transport and travel.