Social capital and community problem solving: Combining local and scientific knowledge to fight invasive species
Globalization has greatly speeded up the movement of goods, services, money and people, as well as pests that threaten food supply and the environment. Invasive organisms have an advantage, as they are in an environment where their natural competitor and enemies are absent. Early identification is critical for control and possible eradication. That identification must rely on local communities, with their knowledge of what is "normal" in terms of natural capital in order to spot the "abnormal" in terms of difference in plant communities. By using early identification of invasive species and working with the scientific community they can develop mechanisms of control and eradication of a variety of invasive species. The community capitals framework allows us to mobilize local resources and combine them with external resources for a vital economy, social inclusion and a healthy ecosystem.