Comprehensive information about biosecurity regulations for transporting handicrafts across borders in the Pacific region is now more accessible following the launch of a manual at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Hagatna, Guam, today.
The Biosecurity Manual for Handicrafts: Requirements for trade and movement of handicrafts in the Pacific Island region and beyond is an outcome of the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation’s commitment to improve biosecurity to prevent the movement of unwanted pests to new areas.
It was produced by the Pacific Community (SPC) with assistance from the Australian Government-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA).
“Pacific Island countries and territories understandably have strict biosecurity regulations and laws in regards to the trade of handicrafts, as some plant and animal material exports could pose a biosecurity risk which would ultimately impact our resources and livelihoods,” the Director of SPC’s Land Resource Division, Inoke Ratukalou, said.
“A major challenge is getting access to timely and accurate biosecurity information to prevent the costly consequences of handicraft items being confiscated or destroyed.
“This manual provides a simple solution and it’s fitting that we launch it at the region’s premiere cultural event which has brought together 25 Pacific Island countries and territories to showcase their cultural heritage, including traditional artefacts,” Mr Ratukalou added.
The manual contains information on biosecurity regulations, including the type of materials used, lists of import, export and treatment requirements for different Pacific Island countries and territories, and national contacts.
It is designed for easy referencing by a wide range of stakeholders, including cultural producers, retailers, exporters and quarantine officials.
The manual can be found online at: http://lrd.spc.int/bat-publications/doc_download/2453-handicraftbiosecuritymanual
A team of SPC technical experts is currently in Guam assisting the Festival of Pacific Arts Organising Committee in the areas of biosecurity, health surveillance, broadcasting and interpretation. SPC is the Festival custodian.