B3 and Biosecurity New Zealand are hosting a visit to Aotearoa New Zealand this week by internationally recognised plant health expert and Euphresco coordinator, Dr Baldissera Giovani.
Euphresco is an international initiative which aims to reduce the impact of plant pests on the economy, environment and people’s health by bringing plant health research funders, policy makers and research groups together.
Through Euphresco, Dr Giovani coordinates a network of international organisations, including New Zealand’s Biosecurity New Zealand, involved in phytosanitary (plant health) research, particularly in regard to quarantine and emerging pests. More than 70 organisations from over 50 countries collaborate in Euphresco, maintaining strong long-term relationships with a biosecurity focus.
B3 Director David Teulon says Aotearoa New Zealand’s biosecurity system benefits from these strong international relationships.
“Much can be learnt from others research efforts, and a number of efficiencies can be found by working together towards common goals. This global connection allows New Zealand to access, and be involved in, the highest level of evidence-based biosecurity research.”
Biosecurity New Zealand Diagnostic and Surveillance Services Science Programme Lead, Aurélie Castinel, says working with Euphresco supports our awareness of potential biosecurity threats and helps equip New Zealand on how best to protect our plants, people, and place.
“International collaboration means our scientists, policy makers and advisors can interact with their peers on a global scale. New Zealand researchers contribute their knowledge and can access the best researcher in their fields.”
Since New Zealand joined the network in 2020, B3 has represented New Zealand science and end-user organisations in as many as four projects per year.
B3 has supported science-based border biosecurity solutions on topics such as pre-emptive biocontrol for high priority pests, early detection and diagnosis of invasive pathogens and understanding vectors of Xylella fastidiosa. Biosecurity New Zealand scientists are also involved in many more Euphresco projects, particularly focusing on diagnostic testing.
Dr Giovani’s visit follows his recent attendance at Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative Symposium.
During his May visit, Dr Giovani is attending B3’s bi-annual Science Partnership Forum where he is sharing ways in which organisations interested in plant health research can strengthen their own ‘ecosystems’. His visit also involves meeting with senior Biosecurity New Zealand staff to discuss science diplomacy, share details of opportunities for greater involvement in international biosecurity collaborations, and discuss the latest international technical research advances.
Dr Giovani will also visit scientists at Plant and Food Research, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research and Biosecurity New Zealand’s Plant Health and Environment Lab in Tāmaki Auckland to discuss Euphresco research priorities and projects.