Biosecurity focus of summit meeting

Wednesday November 14, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
Pa Enua representatives, Charlie Rani (left), Tuaine Ngametua (Mitiaro), Tereapii Aurupa (Mitiaro), Teaunuku Koroa (Mangaia), Teatai Jimmy (Atiu) and Pepe Raela (Aitutaki). 18111315 Pa Enua representatives, Charlie Rani (left), Tuaine Ngametua (Mitiaro), Tereapii Aurupa (Mitiaro), Teaunuku Koroa (Mangaia), Teatai Jimmy (Atiu) and Pepe Raela (Aitutaki). 18111315

Participants from the outer islands are attending a wide-ranging Biosecurity Summit on Rarotonga at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) premises.

 

Island council mayors, executive officers and biosecurity officers from the islands of Aitutaki, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke and Mangaia are participating in the meeting.

One of its main aims is to strengthen and familiarise Pa Enua biosecurity officers on strategic areas in the delivery of operations on their respective islands in partnership with the council and residents.

Aitutaki executive officer Tuaine George says the biggest issue they face on the island is awareness.

He says the community needs to be more aware of why there are procedures in place concerning biosecurity and how important it is to maintain them.

“(It’s about) working with the community and how to bring about a safer environment for protecting our biosecurity.

“Its best if everyone is educated, then things will work better.”

While tourism is the leading contributor to this country’s economy, Aitutaki mayor Tekura Bishop believes agriculture is also very important.

“We need that balance.”

Bishop says the beauty of meeting together and consulting at these seminars is to identify what the Pa Enua’s needs really are, and where and how the islands can be assisted.

Good guidelines, framework and morals to ensure we continue to enjoy living in paradise, he adds.

“Together we help each other.”

Another topic that will be discussed is the Biosecurity Pa Enua Management programme and the legislation, operational and surveillance systems for the protection of the Pa Enua from the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases.

Other matters that will be addressed are the island stakeholder involvement that reinforces the Pa Enua Biosecurity Service  and the coordination of Pa Enua bylaws and the 2008 Biosecurity Act.

Pa Enua Biosecurity information systems will also be discussed, as will building up island resources and ongoing financial support, the enhancement of internal (quarantine) biosecurity procedures in partnership with the Pa Enua, and the movement of biosecurity risk items such as people, vessels, aircraft, cargo, plant material (ua rakau), animals, used machinery and sea vessels between the islands.

The seminar started on Monday and will close on Friday morning.

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