A stinky bug eating its way through the economy of an agricultural region in Eastern Europe stands as a stark example of how climate change creates opportunities for pests and havoc for farmers.
Abkhazia, a separatist region in far-western Georgia whose main agricultural export is hazelnuts, has seen its share of dark times, including war and ethnic cleansing. The latest crisis there comes in the form of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive species that also has set up residence in countries with more resources to fight them—the United States included. The bug has inflicted enough damage in Abkhazia to cause a near-state of emergency.
“We have approximately 15,000 hectares [37,000 acres] of hazelnuts in Abkhazia. As a result