Biosecurity Research Articles

Eradicate, contain, or live with it? Collaborating with stakeholders to evaluate responses to invasive species

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Food Security


Print: 1876-4517 Electronic: 1876-4525


Agricultural Economics | Biosecurity


Significant heterogeneity exists in the public’s preferences and values for protecting agricultural ecosystems against invasive non-native species. Therefore, biosecurity decision-making is akin to conflict management characterised by not only technical, but also environmental, social and economic value judgements of different stakeholders. The key question then, is not whether values should be considered in the decision-making process—they are part of it anyway—but how they should be articulated and incorporated via a formal and structured analysis. In this paper, we propose to use Structured Decision Making (SDM) as a framework to incorporate diverse social values into response planning and management and demonstrate its use with three case studies. The first step of the process involves identifying the stakeholders in a response decision, followed by the critical step of systematically translating stakeholders’ major concerns into management objectives. Biosecurity decision-makers will also collaborate with the public to develop response alternatives and identify a preferred option by explicitly making trade-offs among different objectives. Ultimately, the SDM approach provides a transparent description of, and justification for, the response options considered and selected.



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)