Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp is traveling to Fiji to strengthen ties with key Fijian agricultural, veterinary, and animal health representatives.
Dr Schipp said this was part of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Pacific Engagement Programme for regional animal health and biosecurity.
“Through reinforcing the biosecurity systems of our Pacific neighbours—and strengthening the multilateral organisations that support them—the Pacific Engagement Programme aims to safeguard animal health across the Pacific region,” Dr Schipp said.
To build scientific and technical animal health services in the region, the Pacific Engagement Programme will strengthen key multilateral organisations through targeted funding to support the Pacific Community (SPC) to enhance regional animal health networks, and through initiatives to enhance Pacific membership of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
“Our focus on partnership building activities with our Pacific neighbours is consistent with Australia’s whole of government objective to support regional economic prosperity and food security as part of Australia’s Pacific Step-Up foreign policy,” Dr Schipp said.
“I look forward to reinforcing existing relationships and forging new partnerships in Fiji to deliver capacity development activities both in Fiji and in neighbouring countries in the Pacific region.”
Whilst in Fiji, Dr Schipp will meet with representatives from the Fijian Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, along with the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Programme (PHAMA Plus), and the Fiji National University.
Dr Schipp’s visit to Fiji is part of the department’s commitment to increasing partnerships with Australia’s near neighbours and regional multilateral organisations under the Commonwealth Biosecurity 2030 strategic roadmap.
SOURCE: AUST GOVT/PACNEWS