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Risks from pathogens, pests and weeds in a changing climate (New in 2023)

A major B3 study of global trends and their potential implications for New Zealand biosecurity found pressures from pests and diseases at Aotearoa’s border will become increasingly dynamic and intense. New Zealand’s biosecurity system will need ongoing improvement to be more alert, efficient, cohesive, responsive and adaptable. This project responds to this need by contributing new knowledge and tools to help:

  • predict when and how biosecurity pressures will change at our border
  • track changes in areas of vulnerability
  • evaluate the adequacy of risk mitigations already in place, and
  • alert stakeholders such as industry and government agencies when extra mitigations should be considered and recommend specific measures.

This project builds on previous B3 work in collaboration with partners including MPI, DairyNZ, Forest Owners Association/Forest Growers Research, ZESPRI and the Foundation for Arable Research to develop a partly programmatic – or semi automated – approach to pest risk analysis for use by stakeholders. Compared to more conventional manual qualitative pest risk analysis methods, programmatic approaches offer benefits including increased reproducibility, transparency and speed, and are more amenable to testing and ongoing improvement. The new project will extend the previous work which spanned insects and weeds to include plant pathogens; increase engagement with Māori; place a greater emphasis on climate warming; and for the first time include surveillance and response expertise to design mitigations for the greatest risks.

Read a Farmer’s Weekly article about the original pest analysis tool.

Contact Project Leader: [email protected]