Project Leader

Ian Falk, Indonesian Biosecurity Foundation




This project focuses on plant biosecurity in Indonesia and Australia. Each of its four case studies examines different aspects of effective management of biosecurity so as to generate clear messages for end-users and decision-makers in both countries, aiming to inform a bilateral biosecurity action plan and associated activities. Each of the set out its implications for extension pathways. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) was ratified on 5 July 2020.  From this time, Indonesia once more became a prime geopolitical focus for Australia, with announcements on defence and security for the ‘Indo-Pacific’.  IA-CEPA’s success for Australia is dependent on successful trade, which in turn depends on strong and effective biosecurity measures between the two countries.  The occurrence of the COVID-19 highlights that biosecurity (plant, human, animal) and related biodiversity has no borders, and a common approach and joint bilateral efforts in biosecurity are essential to success. IBF*, with its 13-year history of building bilateral biosecurity partnerships, is well-placed, to seek implementation of science-based approaches, vital strategies and encourage the development of effective governance structures to strengthen biosecurity that enable trade.   

Objectives and Impact

  1. The purpose of the project is to boost the Indo-Pacific plant biosecurity capability through extending the impact of previous CRCPB, PBCRC, and APBSF projects spanning 2007 to the present and utilising the networks built during the BPBI and IBF development stages
  2. The objective is to analyse the COVID-19 response and identify key learnings to assist plant biosecurity to manage plant biosecurity in effective bilateral trade relationships in a COVID/Post COVID world;
  3. The impact of the proposal is to synthesise key learnings from COVID-19 to improve plant biosecurity management in bilateral trade activities, generating clear messages for end-users and decision-makers in both countries, so informing a biosecurity action plan and associated activities. Each of the four case studies will set out its implications for extension pathways;
  4. The method is a quad-site, multi-method analysis of four different aspects of biosecurity management: (a) Java: Governance: (the case of a regional response), (b) Bali: Industry response (the case of tourism),  (c) North Sulawesi: risk management (the case of managing zoonotic origins of biosecurity issues), (d) Eastern Indonesia: bilateral action plan to reduce the risk of further spread of banana blood disease;
  5. Outputs are (a) reports of 4 sites’ research, (b) vital strategies and considerations for bilateral trade success relevant to each case’s focus, such that it will inform bilateral biosecurity actions; (c) improved biosecurity strategies and systems in place to aid broader bilateral trade.
  6. The Impacts on biosecurity of the proposal are (a) Strengthening integrated bilateral biosecurity strategies during and after the pandemic; (b) Informing biosecurity risk-management procedures with real, up-to-date evidence from 4 sectors and regions; (c) Insights into the ways social, economic and cultural factors influence effective bilateral trade relations.

Four cases: Site information
The research examines biosecurity impact factors in four contexts:

  1. Java, Central Java Province
    Effective plant biosecurity management depends on rapid and effective response in times of need. This case examines the role of decentralised government and community mobilisations in managing Indonesia’s COVID-19 mitigation responses. The case examines the failure of central government to support the provision of effective pandemic mitigation infrastructures across different demographic regions. In contrast, local communities and some district governments have been critical in formulating local level mitigation strategies which have had direct impacts on slowing the spread of the virus. The data captures district and municipal responses in the urban, periurban and rural corridor of Semarang city, Semarang district and Salatiga town, which are strongly linked economically and socially and are a significant zone of potential transmission in the region. Implications and recommendations for public health and biosecurity strategies that support effective trade relations are reported. Recommendations for unilateral and bilateral actions are developed, along with effective extension strategies.

2. Bali Province: Tourism Industry
This case will review the tourism industry in Bali, using the Lepud area of Baha Village, Bali. The case will examine (a) How Agrotourism was managed during the onset of COVID-19, in terms of running sustainable agriculture and tourism during the pandemic, (b) what strategies were effective in raising community, regional and national awareness about improving the management of biosecurity, (c) how to reduce the risk of transmission of pathogens in agrotourism enterprises and (d) applications of an early warning system to detect the changes of plants due to plant disease and pests. Recommendations for unilateral and bilateral actions are developed, along with effective extension strategies.

3. North Sulawesi Province: Zoonotic source factors impacting biosecurity
Wet markets are key locations of zoonotic diseases’ origins, with high impact on all aspects of Australia/Indonesia trade. North Sulawesi is recognized as being strong on culturally-entrenched wet markets. This case will identify (a) local social, economic and cultural practices involved in changing the culture and practices of wet markets, (b) alternatives for future alternatives to wet markets, and (c) risk-management practices in biosecurity management by creating an awareness of the risks and developing protocols for influencing socio-culturally based behavior. Recommendations for unilateral and bilateral actions are developed, along with effective extension strategies.

4. East Indonesia Province: Agriculture industry managing biosecurity spread: Case study of banana
Blood Disease of banana is a bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia syzygii subsp.celebesensis which, at present, only occurs in certain parts of Indonesia and Malaysia and is exotic to Australia.  In Indonesia Blood Disease causes significant losses in the popular, but highly susceptible, kepok banana varieties. Recent PBCRC and APBSF projects have revealed its distribution and mode of spread. The next phase is to use lessons learned from COVID-19 to raise awareness at high levels and garner support for the development of a banana biosecurity action plan and activities to limit further spread and impact of this disease across the Indonesian archipelago and beyond. Recommendations for unilateral and bilateral actions are developed, along with effective extension strategies.