Biosecurity Week 2023
Category: National. Posted: 19 July 2023
IF THE LAND IS WELL AND THE SEA IS WELL THE PEOPLE WILL THRIVE
The week aimed at highlighting the work within the biosecurity sector is an annual fixture promoted by The NZ Biosecurity Institute, the networking organisation for people working or generally involved in all aspects of biosecurity.
The theme for the week: ‘Toitū Te Whenua, Toitū Te Moana, Toitū Te Tangata - If the land is well, and the sea is well, the people will thrive’, recognises the critical role that biosecurity plays in protecting te taiao/environment, which is vital for people’s well-being.
As well as highlighting the work of people working in the sector, the week aims to acknowledge the work done among local communities and mana whenua to improve the health of the land and water, through activities supporting biosecurity.
Biosecurity Institute President, Jono Underwood said it’s vital to get people on side, and there are a number of community programmes across the country using new approaches which are having considerable success.
The week centres around the Institute’s annual networking and training event, NETS, to be held at Waitangi from 26- 28 July.
Mr Underwood said the location of this year’s conference is particularly apt as agencies in the Bay of Islands are presently battling the new invasive seaweed species, Caulerpa.
“This invasive seaweed example shows how broad the biosecurity sector is.
“As well as managing pest animals and plants like alligator weed and wallabies, the biosecurity sector covers border control, animal and plant disease management, and freshwater and marine pests.”
Mr Underwood said some hot topics at present include wilding pines, kauri dieback, Mycoplasma bovis, the invasive species of golden clam and wallaby containment.
“Good science and constant vigilance are the secrets to keeping the country’s invasive species threats under control.
“As well as needing new technology like drones, and innovation like sniffer-dogs, the sector will always need people power.”
Mr Underwood said the conference will look at how communities and technology can be best used to help people in the sector do their work.
“Every year Institute members spend thousands of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment from the effects of invasive species.
“Money spent on biosecurity is an investment that protects our economy, environment and way of life, and prevents significant costs and impacts from invasive species,” Mr Underwood said.