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Adaptive Approaches to Biosecurity Governance


Address correspondence to David C. Cook, CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia; tel: +61 2 6246 4093; fax: +61 2 6246 4000;


This article discusses institutional changes that may facilitate an adaptive approach to biosecurity risk management where governance is viewed as a multidisciplinary, interactive experiment acknowledging uncertainty. Using the principles of adaptive governance, evolved from institutional theory, we explore how the concepts of lateral information flows, incentive alignment, and policy experimentation might shape Australia's invasive species defense mechanisms. We suggest design principles for biosecurity policies emphasizing overlapping complementary response capabilities and the sharing of invasive species risks via a polycentric system of governance.