Taking ‘Biosecurity St Helena’ into the future – Consultation on draft Biosecurity Policy 2023 – 2030

St Helena’s Biosecurity Policy is being reviewed and revised to ensure that ‘Biosecurity St Helena’ is fit for purpose into the future. The first biosecurity policy was developed and adopted in 2014 in order to strengthen biosecurity in St Helena in anticipation of air access.

Biosecurity protects St Helena from the risk of introducing potentially harmful new pests, weeds and diseases. As a remote Island, St Helena relies heavily on imported goods. In addition, the opening of the Airport has resulted in an increase of movement of both residents and visitors. Increased arrivals requires increased imports to support them, and this leads to increased biosecurity risks; imported goods and arriving passengers are all potential pathways to introduce new species. In addition, climate change results in new and emerging invasive species entering the introduction pathways, often in unexpected ways. This is recognised as a major issue globally for biosecurity, and is very relevant to St Helena.

The aim of the current biosecurity review work is to review and revise the Biosecurity Policy to ensure it is fit for purpose, and that it provides a suitable basis for the effective delivery of the biosecurity programme. After five years’ experience of Airport operation the changes in biosecurity risks associated with air access and associated changes in pathways of entry for new potentially harmful pests and diseases can now be understood and evaluated.

Consultations have been held with key stakeholders, including Sections within St Helena Government (Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Portfolio, Custom and Port Control, and St Helena Research Institute), importers, and the Saint Helena National Trust. All stakeholders consulted considered that, although St Helena is doing a good job in delivering a high standard of biosecurity to protect the Island against new pests and weeds, there are weakness in the current system and change are necessary.

Thanks are extended to Biosecurity Consultant, Dr Jill Key, for her valuable contributions to development of the new draft Biosecurity Policy. This support has been provided on behalf of the GB Non Native Species Secretariat (GBNNSS) by Public Administration International and financed by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Opportunities to learn more and provide your comments on the draft Policy are available through the following consultation events:

Tuesday, 29 August 2023Half Tree Hollow Community Centre7pm
Thursday, 31 August 2023The Museum, Jamestown7pm
Friday, 1 September 2023Canister Meeting Room, Jamestown10am – 1pm

For further information on the draft Policy and consultation events please contact Julie Balchin, Biosecurity Officer at Scotland Office, St Paul’s, on telephone 24724 or email: julie.balchin@sainthelena.gov.sh.

Comments on the draft Policy should reach Julie Balchin via the above address by no later than 4pm on Friday, 8September 2023.

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24 August 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh