Biosecurity and Trade

Biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach to analyzing and managing relevant risks to human, animal and plant life and health and associated risks to the environment. Interest in biosecurity has risen considerably over the last decade in parallel with increasing trade in food, plant and animal products, more international travel, new outbreaks of transboundary disease affecting animals, plants and people, heightened awareness of biological diversity and greater attention to the environment and the impact of agriculture on environmental sustainability.

Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTSs) need to position themselves to take advantage of trading opportunities, while protecting their natural resource base from potential risks.
Collaborative efforts heightened to protect Guam's biodiversity
Monday, 08 August 2016 10:42

SPC’s participation was also a response to the official invitation by the Office of the Governor of Guam requesting our assistance to prevent, mitigate and control the entry of invasive species from participating countries into Guam. A failure to implement strong biosecurity measures could lead to damage or loss of biodiversity, crops, native species and fauna, resulting in compromised trade between island countries.

SPC held meetings with Guam counterparts prior to the festival to discuss concerns and the need for a concerted and collective effort by all parties to minimize and mitigate potential incursions of invasive species into and out of the island.  Action and operation plans were put into place and implemented inland and across Guam’s borders.

In addition, it was also determined that lessons learned during the 12th FestPac should be documented for ease of reference, especially looking forward to the next event to be held in Hawaii in 2020.

Collaborative efforts between SPC biosecurity officers, the Guam Department of Agriculture’s Biosecurity Division and the Guam CQA to conduct surveillance and intercept potential invasive species and pests resulted in the successful mitigation of invasive species introduction and outbreak at the 2016 FestPac.

Next steps and follow-up actions:

  • Guam Biosecurity Division to increase its resources in terms of staffing, including another full-time staff, and facilities.
  • Guam Biosecurity to conduct a general plant, pest and disease survey in addition to the existing surveillance protocol, to monitor and identify the entry of any new pests during FestPaC 2016.
  • Guam Biosecurity to consider harmonizing all the laws and legislation that govern biosecurity operations, modelled on the Biosecurity Bill