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Invasive pest species are affecting world agriculture, forests and natural areas, causing billions of dollars of losses. With globalization and increases in trade and movement of people, the frequency of species invasions has substantially grown in the last decades.

Puerto Rico is geopolitically located in a key strategic position and has the potential to host and play a crucial role in studies of Prevention and Preparedness for Invasive Species. Puerto Rico is located in a region where the probability of interception of new pests coming to the Americas and US mainland is high and where a proactive approach could be the front line for management of invasive species.  In addition, Puerto Rico has its own agricultural interests and it, along with the rest of the Caribbean basin, could directly benefit from a US offshore quarantine facility that provides research and appropriate training on target pests and potentially beneficial organisms.

This work is a joint initiative to establish a world-class Center for Excellence in Quarantine & Invasive Species. This Center would be an effort among University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources, USDA APHIS PPQ, US Forest Service, Caribbean Food Crop Society, and other agencies.

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