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CRC40049: A community based model to manage emergency plant pests (phase one)

This project will develop new policies and strategies to improve the management of emergency plant pest incursions. It will increase community and indigenous participation to identify, prevent and manage emergency plant pest incursions, particularly in Australia's northern border regions.

A pilot study was conducted in 2007 which established:

1. A draft community participation model

The model incorporates sound practice in developing sustainable ways for communities in Eastern Indonesia and Australia to identify and manage the pests and diseases affecting the quality and quantity of crops and food supplies. This work has been internationally peer reviewed and is currently the subject of a joint partnership publication of 2 international journals.

2. Research training needs

A need to strengthen the research training capacity and accompanying training accreditation for the community management of biosecurity in both countries. A Research Award Framework was developed and subsequently endorsed by the Director General of Higher Education for Indonesia, and a pilot of the Award initiated at the Universitas Mahasaraswati, Denpasar.

What is the biosecurity problem?

Australia's proximity to South East Asia places pressure on our tropical north in terms of plant biosecurity. Indigenous communities have an essential role in managing emergency plant pest incursions, and their support is recognised under AQIS's Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy (NAQS). While NAQS undertake activities in collaboration with neighbouring countries' governments, there is an opportunity to work more proactively with Indigenous communities in developing risk mitigation strategies.

The main outputs of this project are to:

  • implement proactive management of plant pests and diseases through the development of a community-based management system in Australia and Indonesia is best achieved through the development of systems to produce models of leadership training for those involved at central, regional and community levels to make new decentralisation policy work for the poor. It will do this through action research in Northern Australia and the Greater Papua, West Timor (Nusa Tengara Timur NTT) and other regions which in turn will lead to leadership capacity building and implementation of innovative breakthrough activities.
  • develop, trial, evaluate and refinement of the 2007 research outcomes (the pilot project) in three regions of Eastern Indonesia and Australia: (a) The Greater Papua, (b) Nusa Tengara Timur (NTT) and (c) remote communities in Northern Australia.
  • provide cross-cutting research across the whole of Northern Australia and Eastern Indonesia (Nusa Tengarra, NTT) into the facilitation of policy/regional/community connections, and the role of women in facilitating biosecurity outcomes.

Who will be the end-users of this research?

  • End-users
  • Government, NGO's and international agencies such as ACIAR and AusAid  
  • Beneficiaries
  • Australian government agencies such as DAFF (AQIS)
  • Key stakeholders, and
  • Local communities and their leadership in Eastern Indonesia and Northern Australia; Australian government involved in policy establishment (DAFF, DFAT).


Prof Ian Falk
Project Leader CRC40049: A community based model to manage emergency plant pests (phase one)

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February 2008 – 2012
$1,431,310 (cash and in-kind contributions)