Date of this Version
This document represents the second version of a guide and process for pathway definition, analysis and prioritization. It is expected that this document will undergo another trial test and revision prior to full implementation, though we strongly believed this is a ‘workable’ product that only requires refinement.
Throughout this systems development process, the Pathways Work Team struggled with several issues relevant to scientific data and public policy. While this report in no way attempts to resolve such intricate issues, it is essential that these considerations be brought to the forefront for future decision-making efforts and as such are enumerated below:
• International competitiveness is impacted by invasive species
• Pathway ranking combines community, government and corporate interests
• Sound science, transparency and consistency are essential for formulating policy
• Neutrality is essential in providing scientific advice to decision makers
• Market and non-market forces must be analyzed for final decisions
• Invasive species prevention is inherently an international activity
• Methodology must include public, stakeholder and expert participation
• Assessment is to provide common perspectives
• Decisions must occur at individual agency levels
• Outcome of the process is the characterization of relative risk of pathways
• Policy makers must devise plans for pathway management, resource leveraging, policy development, budget decisions and technology transfer/development.
In conclusion, the Pathways Work Team strongly supported the position that policy decides the direction to take (with human health, commerce, then ecosystems being the priorities for ranking), but science must maintain the focus.