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Global change and NZ biosecurity: risks and economics of future climates and trade patterns

This project was completed in mid-2022 after two years.

Project Abstract

Climate change and other global trends will influence the nature of NZ’ future biosecurity risk: (i) through underlying changes and pressures on NZ agriculture and other environments; (ii) through changes in global pest movements; and (iii) through changes in environmental conditions affecting the establishment of certain pest species as well as their potential impacts.

From a literature review, we have identified more than 30 global trends with potential biosecurity implications and discussed how these can affect the three proximal drivers of changes affecting NZ biosecurity (listed above). Changes in trade patterns, international population mobility, global climate warming, and agricultural intensification have also been identified as key concerns by our stakeholders.

Our results, summarized in a report, show the effects of global megatrends on NZ and NZ biosecurity are multifaceted, and climate change cannot be considered in isolation. For instance, climate change will impact future land uses and global trade, which will in turn affect future biological invasions. Recent events like the Suez Canal blockage, the war between Russia and Ukraine or the COVID-19 pandemic have also exposed that unpredictable events (not directly related to climate change) can also quickly impact global productions and supply chains, which in turns affect biosecurity.

New Zealand’s experience of global issues, such as climate change, may also differ from other parts of the world (cf. agricultural impacts and trade repercussions examined in the aligned SLMACC project “Global change, trade and biosecurity”).

We propose border biosecurity research, capability and investment priorities in the context of global change be supported in the following areas: (A) recognizing functional groups and pest species that could arrive, evade our border biosecurity processes and establish in NZ under current and future conditions (=map and prioritize the range of pest hazards); (B) evaluating when and where our borders are experiencing changes in pest pressures, and when possible forecast these changes, including possible adaptations in our biosecurity responses (=quantify current and future pest pressures); and (C) evaluating the vulnerability of our host plants and ecosystems, including possible evolutions of these systems under land use or climate change (= assess the range of environmental vulnerabilities and quantify these).

Biosecurity outcome

A framework that identifies plant border biosecurity research, capability and investment priorities and their benefits for NZ in the context of the global climate change. The framework will consider aspects of climate impacted global and NZ food production and trade, invasive species risk profiles and will be validated by two case studies.

Science outcome

New knowledge and methods to determine and measure the influence of global climate change on biological invasiveness incorporating parameters associated with primary production and trade, and validated with at least two case studies. The costs and benefits of targeted interventions including their trade-offs, will be established in the context of future economic, environmental, social and cultural parameters.

For more information about this and other B3 projects, visit Zotero.

The Zotero database can be found on the B3 homepage under ‘Outputs’.