The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation (PPPO) launched three pivotal online resources – the revamped Regional Biosecurity Information Facility (BIF), the upgraded Pacific Islands Pest List Database (PLD) and the newly established PPPO webpage.
The launch happened at the “International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)/PPPO Draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) Regional Workshop and PPPO Regional Technical Board Meeting” held in Cook Islands from 21 to 25 August 2023.
The online biosecurity and pest sites will serve as valuable resources in the region’s attempts to meet increases in pests and diseases and their spread that threaten biodiversity, food security and the small economies.
The Cook Islands gathering was co-funded by the European Union (EU) via the Safe Agricultural Trade Facilitation through Economic Integration in the Pacific (SAFE Pacific) project, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (NZMPI) via the Enhanced Pacific Market Access Partnership programme, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
SPC Director of Land Resources Division Karen Mapusua said that up-to-date and accurate information on the distribution of invasive species and the status of biosecurity risks is crucial to protect the region from threats.
“There is a need to ensure that SPC and other agencies are resourced to provide complimentary actions to support the PPPO objectives and mandate and that there is no duplication or gaps,” she said.
The revamped BIF is a centralised platform for exchanging, storing, and disseminating essential biosecurity information among countries and organisations while ensuring ownership, consistent updating and relevance of shared information.
The PLD stores records of pests currently affecting agriculture, forestry and the environment in Pacific Island countries and territories. It is a vital repository for the region’s plant pest information and an important market access and trade resource.
The PPPO website is an online hub where the region’s national plant protection organisations (NPPOs) can exchange information about their plant protection activities, get updates on important IPPC work, including the contribution to international pant health initiatives, and access pest alerts and regional standards for phytosanitary measures (RSPMs).
The three platforms give the Pacific biosecurity officers and the public fast and user-friendly access to biosecurity information and pest data, ensuring greater awareness and biosecurity risk profiling, communication and protection of Pacific borders from foreign plant pest and disease threats.
- The BIF site can be accessed at: https://lrd.spc.int/work-areas/markets-for-livelihoods/the-regional-biosecurity-information-facility.
- The PLD can be accessed at: https://pld.lrd.spc.int/.
- The PPPO website can be accessed at (https://lrd.spc.int/work-areas/markets-for-livelihoods/biosecurity/pppo)