4004: Advancing collaborative knowledge systems for plant biosecurity surveillance

Project Number

4004

Project Type & Status

Core-Active

Project Leader

Researchers

Dr Kirsten Maclean
Dr Tabitha Wallington
Dr Ryan McAllister
Prof Ruth Wallace
Kerry Collins

Impact Delivery Themes

4004: Advancing collaborative knowledge systems for plant biosecurity surveillance

This project tests the hypothesis that remote communities can contribute to effective delivery of plant biosecurity surveillance.                                         

What is the biosecurity problem this project aims to resolve/improve?

This project investigates the role that remote and regional communities can and do play in the effective delivery of plant biosecurity surveillance in Australia.

A change in community behaviour has been identified as fundamental to achieving an effective approach to biosecurity policy in Australia (Kruger et al, 2010). But engaging communities in biosecurity management relies on the capacity of community and government institutions to appropriately handle different types of knowledge (Robinson and Whitehead 2005). The need for effective engagement is particularly urgent in remote and regional areas of Australia where surveillance efforts rely on local managers who are often isolated from government organisations and support. This exemplar project draws on case-study analysis to identify how risks and knowledge can be effectively managed as a contribution to these remote regional surveillance systems.

Project summary

Land managers in remote and regional Australia have a particularly important role to play in the detection of pest and weed threats to agriculture and natural environments. This is because these regions are often far from the direct biosecurity surveillance support provided by government organisations.

Sustained plant biosecurity in remote and regional Australia depends upon the motivation and commitment of diverse interest groups (wider community, government, industry) to work together for the improved management of pests and diseases. Successful management of threats to plant biosecurity also depends upon the capacity of these groups to use different types of knowledge (e.g. science, agricultural, indigenous) to decide how they will manage (detect, diagnose and respond) threats to Australian agriculture and natural environments.

This exemplar project aims to improve plant biosecurity management and develop the capacity of regional and remote communities to engage in biosecurity surveillance activities (appropriate to Australia’s policy and strategic needs). An assessment framework and case study approach will be used to analyse:
 

  • the forums and networks that diverse groups use to find out about threats to their plant industry,
  • the different kinds of knowledge that diverse groups use to make decisions about the management of plant pests and disease (and why do they use that particular kind of knowledge), and
  • how and why they use knowledge to make decisions and take action on plant biosecurity.

Impact

This exemplar project aims to improve plant biosecurity management and develop the capacity of regional and remote communities to engage in biosecurity surveillance activities.

The use of case studies will demonstrate some of the ways that the wider community, government and industry groups currently make decisions for plant biosecurity. This will allow the project team to provide guidelines for the future design (and ongoing assessment) of ways to support the sharing and use of different types of knowledge in the management of plant biosecurity in remote and regional Australia.

Improving the understanding of how and what knowledge is used by regional and remote communities will advance the engagement and commitment to protect Australia’s enviable plant health and market status in biosecurity management.

Resources

Watch the video Working together for plant biosecurity: how to effectively engage stakeholders.

 

Download the brochure Working together for plant biosecurity: how to effectively engage stakeholders (PDF, 4.57 MB).

 

Download the Working together for plant biosecurity: how to effectively engage stakeholders poster (PDF, 1.78 MB).

 

Partners in this Project