In the bid to boost the region's animal health and livestock production systems, the Pacific Community (Land Resources Division (LRD) have signed a four-year partnership agreement with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).
Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp said the agreement is the outcome of close engagement between the newly established Pacific Engagement Program in the Office of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) and SPC's Animal Health and Production team.
"As part of Australia's focus on strengthening animal health and biosecurity activities across the Pacific region, our Pacific Engagement Program is providing targeted funding to support the Pacific Community to enhance the Pacific Heads of Veterinary and Animal Production Services (PHOVAPS) network," Dr Schipp said.
He added that biosecurity and animal health measures will support stronger biosecurity in the region and further help protect Australia from animal biosecurity threats.
Under the agreement, DAWE will support SPC to enhance the PHOVAPS network and operations, and to undertake activities to raise African Swine Fever (ASF) awareness and preparedness across Pacific Island Countries and Territories.
Key outputs from the partnership agreement titled 'Strengthening the Capacity of the PHOVAPS Network include developing a governance structure and terms of reference for PHOVAPS, identifying priority needs and developing guidelines for joint implementation with PHOVAPS members, and facilitating implementation of PHOVAPS priorities in collaboration with the ongoing projects being implemented by LRD.
"This new partnership will further boost SPC's ongoing efforts to operationalise a One Health approach in the Pacific," said Karen Mapusua, Land Resources Division Director.
"It aligns with our Pacific Animal Health and Production Framework's strategic goal of strengthening disease surveillance and enhancing emergency response capability to address current animal disease status and prevent the introduction of new diseases in the region."
Dr Sripad Sosale, Animal Health and Production Adviser, Land Resources Division, Pacific Community (SPC) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Matilda Simmons, Communications Assistant, Land Resources Division, Pacific Community (SPC) | email@example.com