The Pacific Community rolls out upgraded Pacific Pest List Database

By SPC 03 June 2023, 1:00PM

As threats from plant pests and diseases in the Pacific increase due to growing populations and increased trade and movement of people and goods, the Pacific Community (SPC) introduced this week a newly upgraded Pacific Islands Pest List Database (PLD) at a regional workshop that took place in Nadi, Fiji from 29 May to 2 June.

The PLD stores records of pests and hosts that affect agriculture, forestry and the environment. Over 19 biosecurity representatives from across eight countries in the Melanesian and Polynesian sub-regions attended the database training, including Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The training was funded by the European Union via the Safe Agricultural Trade Facilitation through Economic Integration in the Pacific (SAFE Pacific) project and supported by the Australia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

“In the past, each Pacific Island country kept their own pest list and updated it only when requested. Now, this information is readily accessible through the PLD web-based portal, thus, increasing efficiency and effectiveness in decision-making for trade purposes and border protection from destructive pests and diseases,” said Tevita Dawai, SPC SAFE Pacific Team Leader.

The PLD has a record of more than 26,000 pest occurrences, comprising more than 10,000 pests on over 2,200 host species. SPC is the custodian of the database web portal.

“I believe, after this workshop, the participants will become familiar and well-versed with the upgraded Pest List Database, and they will be able to know how to input country data into the PLD. In addition, I believe the same knowledge would be shared back home among the colleagues to know about the PLD, and especially how to retrieve pest data for day-to-day biosecurity work,” said Biosecurity Authority of Fiji Entomologist Jainesh Ram during the opening event.

"This tool will enable our organisations to create a lot of efficiencies, helping us work together and will also make it easier to keep track of information within our agencies,” said Australia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry representative Emily Lamberton.

“This project is an excellent example of when people come together, we can get good things done. So, this is a great theme for us in this workshop as well.”

Similar training on the PLD will be carried out in the Micronesian region soon.

By SPC 03 June 2023, 1:00PM
Samoa Observer

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