Meurisse says natural environments, such as native forests, may be especially vulnerable to invading biosecurity threats. These could be adversely impacted by the combined effects of biological invasions, climate warming and other human-related pressures.
The report says research is needed to address the biosecurity implications of global megatrends, including climate change and ensure New Zealand’s border system is robust, resilient and responsive to the wide range of future biosecurity challenges, both predictable and unpredictable. Examples include developing new methods to forecast, track and monitor changing border pressures, and better understanding the vulnerabilities of New Zealand plants and ecosystems and potential impacts of invasive pests and pathogens.
The report concludes: “It is impossible to predict the future, particularly in an area as complex as global change where so many factors are interacting. Preparing for future biosecurity challenges needs to be a collective task to ensure we are able to respond as needed to protect New Zealand’s unique plant systems.”
B3 Co Director Māori Alby Marsh says the collaboration has a new Māori Strategy that, among other things, recognises Te Tiriti and the overarching principles of Partnership, Protection and Participation with Mana Whenua in all B3 research programmes.
“It is important for us as researchers to be inclusive with our science by fostering deeper meaningful relationships to better understand mātauranga and develop programmes of research that encourages broader representation and participation. The Global Change and New Zealand Biosecurity report highlights coming issues of huge importance for tangata whenua and the plants they grow and nurture. Mātauranga Māori experts are also observing this change and are trying to understand the impacts of climate warming. For example, ‘tohu’ or environmental indicators and the timing of their occurrence may be changing which could have a bearing on the timing of planting or harvest.
**Initially released by the B3 (Better Border Biosecurity) consortium, of which AgResearch is a part**