31 Mudita,W. 2009 Crossing the community-government communication border in managing citrus biosecurity in West Timor, Indonesia <p>Biosecurity deals with efforts to prevent, control and/or manage risks to life and health as appropriate to a particular biosecurity sector. In doing so, risk needs to be communicated among all stakeholders. Successful risk communication requires communication and information exchange among government agencies, local communities, and the general public. To find out how risk communication plays an important role in biosecurity management, a study is now on-going in 18 citrus-growing villages throughout the highlands of West Timor, Indonesia. For field data collection, in-depth interviews have been carried out with citrus growers, local leaders, and government officers. Content analysis of the interview transcripts shows that pests and diseases are agreed as causing citrus decline but what make it even worse is the lack of communication between local governments and local communities.</p> <p>Whilst local communities consider that information about pests and diseases should be available for them to be able to take the necessary preventive actions, local governments retain their position that law has been enacted and efforts have been made in the best way possible to prevent incursion. The fact that most destructive diseases of citrus are graft transmissible triggers local communities to urge the government to give them the right to produce grafted seedling for their own use. The local governments refuse, of course, arguing that propagation by commercial nurseries makes inspection more manageable in order to guarantee the produced planting material is free of such diseases. In fact, the lack of appropriate facilities and open attitude to the community prevent the local governments from being able to implement such preventive measures. Involving local communities in the management of the diseases, therefore, is the best available alternative and for this to be effective, the governments should engage in every possible effort to provide the necessary information to enable the community to better use their local knowledge for the management of biosecurity.</p>