The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an exceptionally promising pest control method in terms of efficacy and environmental compatibility. Assessments of environmental risks vary according to the status and origin of the target pests. The suppression or eradication of non-native pest populations with the sit raises few environmental concerns, and these are related mainly to some pre-release suppression techniques. However, the elimination of native species, or at least populations of native species, requires more detailed and complex assessments of ecological effects and consequences for biodiversity conservation. Eradication programmes provide opportunities to study these topics within the scope of both environmental impact assessments and operational monitoring programmes.