During the first webinar of the botanic gardens biosecurity webinar series, Dr Daniela Carnovale from Plant Health Australia introduced the series and discussed how botanic gardens can support plant biosecurity.
Following Daniela’s presentation Dr Stephen Dibley, Deputy Chief Plant Health Officer at Agriculture Victoria, provided an overview of Australia’s plant biosecurity system.
“The biosecurity system is probably a lot bigger than most people are aware of and covers off on a large spectrum of activities,” said Stephen.
It is not just the border quarantine activities that most people are familiar with. There are also activities undertaken from an Australian perspective that occur well before people, products and pests get anywhere near the country. These are known as pre-border activities.
While pre-border and at the border activities are primarily delivered by the Australian Government, the final component of the system, post-border activities, is where everyone can play a part.
The Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network is utilising the potential of botanic gardens staff, friends, guides, and volunteers to undertake post–border plant biosecurity surveillance within botanic gardens.
“Plant biosecurity surveillance is, in essence, looking for new pests that come in so that we can pick them up and deal with them,” said Stephen.
The community of staff and volunteers who support botanic gardens are typically knowledgeable and passionate people who, with training and awareness, can become additional ‘eyes and ears’ for the detection of plant pests and diseases. With the right tools and information, we can all contribute to maintaining the health of botanic gardens and pant health in Australia.
Watch the recording of the webinar below for a more in-depth discussion of these topics with specific examples of pests impacting Victoria and Australia more broadly.
This webinar was held as part of a series of webinars hosted by the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network. Watch the other webinars here.