Protecting Kiribati from bio-security outbreaks


The increased movement of the global economy with goods being shipped around the world and people travelling more frequently increases the bio-security risk that pests post on countries like Kiribati. Fruit flies, yellow crazy ants and the African snail are examples of pests that could impact the country’s biodiversity and economy. International obligations set by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) create very high standards which require countries to ensure pest risk analysis is conducted along with staff development, creation and updating of a pest list database and sharing of information in regards to pest and disease concerns.
These obligations along with the need to protect the country from the accidental importation of diseases and pests in the shipments of produce and goods is critical to Kiribati. This understanding of how to identify pests and disease upon inspection of goods being imported into the country along with the impact that identifying these threats early has on the country’s economy is helping strengthen its resilience to pest and disease outbreaks.
As part of this training pest and disease databases were updated with specimens being sent to the United Kingdom for further analysis and understanding. Practical understanding in regards to survey techniques and understanding methodology and surveillance was created along with supporting the establishment of rules needed for the importation of ginger and mangoes from Fiji to ensure Kiribati’s biodiversity is protected from any infection of pest and disease. This training is helping improve the resilience of the agriculture sector by protecting existing local markets whilst ensuring bio-security staff and inspectors are empowered in understanding threats when shipments arrive from around the world.