To most people, biosecurity operations are associated with highly visible activities such as inspections at the Border or high profile incursion response such as the American Iguana and the Asian Subterranean Termites.
These are just the visible tip of the biosecurity ‘iceberg’. Pests and diseases pose serious threats to our economy, environment, health and agricultural trade. Fiji Government through the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) spends millions of dollars in containing and controlling newly established pests in Fiji such as the American Iguana and the Asian Subterranean Termites and preventing the incursion of exotic invasive pests and diseases into the country.
Given the potential impacts of a serious biosecurity incursion, it’s easy to see why biosecurity is critical for Fiji. A lot more effort is put behind the scenes to ensure that biosecurity risks are reduced, managed or eliminated long before-and in some cases after-unwanted pests and diseases reach our shores.
Biosecurity achieves multiple outcomes including:
• Increased trade and market access for Fiji’s products
• Maintaining and enhancing economic opportunities, growth and prosperity
• Optimized human health and wellbeing
• Protection and enhancement of our natural and historic heritage and the integrity of ecosystems of Fiji.
Biosecurity operations involves:
PRE- BORDER- activities provide means of identifying and mitigating potentially high biosecurity risks. It involves conducting Import Risk Analysis (IRA’s) in relation to animals, plants and other goods proposed for import, gathering and exchanging information about emerging risks around the world, negotiating international quarantine treaties, bilateral and multilateral agreements and facilitating trade access through the development of standards and regulations.
We do this on the basis of an Acceptable Level of Risk noting there is never zero risk to bringing a product into a country but all biosecurity organisations around the world work within the allowable risk limits they set.
BORDER- BAF currently operates from three major ports of entry namely, Suva Wharf, Nadi International Airport and Lautoka Wharf. At the border BAF works on minimising the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Fiji and protecting our agricultural export industries as well as our environment, tourism industries and our people’s health. We screen and inspect all international passengers, cargo, mail, animals and plants and animal and plant products at ALL entry points into Fiji.
POST BORDER- is the management of risks and impacts of pests and diseases that have already crossed the border and diseases that have already established in Fiji. Effective national biosecurity management together with animal welfare management enables the assurance of Fiji as an exporter that is free of biosecurity-risk goods.