By Andrea Tagamasau
National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA) along with other border security agencies have come together to address the influx of human movement and the high volume of trade in goods between the Melanesian Islands.
NAQIA has come up with ways to monitor and survey these movements in order to prevent the establishment or the introduction of pests and diseases of plant and animals, this was said by the managing director of NAQIA Andrew Yamanae at the Melanesian Spearhead Group technical officials meeting. Being established in 2006 the technical officers meeting on biodiversity was the first of its kind as it was arranged by the MSG to manage human movement and the movement of goods.
Mr Yamanea explains that the monitoring and surveillance system for pests and diseases is becoming critical as bio-security organizations such as NAQIA and other organizations within the MSG are responsible for plant and animal health.
With guidelines set by organizations such as the Organization for World Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention, Mr Yamanea adds that the MSG has to decide whether these guidelines are applicable and achievable for the region’s mutual security co-operation.
He later adds that if they are not, then a course should be carried out to develop and implement harmonious standards that will meet our needs.
“As a way to safeguard a nation from the entry of pests and diseases, the ability of biosecurity agencies is fundamental to a country’s ability to manage endemic pests and diseases, especially those that are exotic, invasive and trans-boundary in nature,” said Mr Yamanea.
He added that the monitoring and surveillance system of a country gives a positive impression and assurance of a country’s pest and disease status with important related economic, social and environmental implications for security and trade access.
Mr Yamanea warned that the information that is used to support decision making and creating benchmark decisions, must be sound and acceptable as the cost for monitoring and surveying and the response for pest and disease control and the consequences of failure might be high.
Source: Post Courier (http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20121115/thhome.htm)