Papua New Guinea is working to strengthen its biosecurity regulatory framework through a proposed National Biosecurity Policy, which will safeguard the countrys agricultural and natural resources, boost trade and protect public health.
The National Agriculture, Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) will be holding consultations on the draft policy, developed through the technical assistance of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Australian and New Zealand governments.
The consultations with stakeholders will assist NAQIA in finalizing the policy, which will pave the way for the drafting of the National Biosecurity Bill.
The National Biosecurity Policy will modernize Papua New Guineas biosecurity system as it contains international best practice, NAQIA Managing Director, Joel Alu said. The policy also identifies clear methods of coordination, collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders who have cross cutting responsibilities in trade facilitation and protection of animals and plants including human health and the environment they coexist in as influenced by biosecurity considerations.
The proposed National Biosecurity Policy recognizes the importance of biosecurity for agricultural production, human health, the environment, tourism and the economy. It adopts international standards, fosters cooperation among a spectrum of public bodies and encourages a collaborative approach to stimulating private sector activities, thereby driving investment, trade and economic growth.
PNGs biodiversity is important not only to its people but to the world and needs to be protected, which makes it critical to have a sound biosecurity framework, said Australian High Commission Counsellor Derek Brown. Where measures are designed well, a sound biosecurity framework can help protect agricultural, forestry and fisheries production systems as well as the persons that depend on them for subsistence, livelihoods or commercial purposes.
The policy aims to address agricultural and trade needs and realities in PNG, creating an environment conducive to private sector growth for all stakeholders including large importers and exporters, micro and small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and smallholder or subsistence farmers.
COVID-19 has shown us the importance of border security for countries and we have seen its impacts on economies with the closure of borders, New Zealand High Commissions Acting High Commissioner Nathan Ross said. This policy assists Papua New Guinea in its border security from potential risks to its natural resources from imports as well as domestic risks that could potentially harm the countrys export market.
PNG contains more than 7 percent of global biodiversity, with the island of New Guinea alone containing about 10 percent of the total plant and animal species on the planet. PNG also has the worlds third largest expanse of forest area and is part of the Coral Triangle, famed as having the highest level of marine biodiversity in the world.
A good biosecurity system is important for food security, but also for economic growth, IFCs Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea, Markus Scheuermaier said. The proposed National Biosecurity Policy is an important step towards strengthening the competitiveness of PNGs agriculture sector as it introduces recognized standards to manage biosecurity risks which will help open up international markets for the countrys agricultural exports.
About the PNG Partnership
IFCs work in Papua New Guinea is guided by the PNG Partnership. Australia, New Zealand and IFC are working together through the Partnership to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in Papua New Guinea.
IFCa member of the World Bank Groupis the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.