Biosecurity is the management of risks to the economy, the environment and the community of pests and diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading. In Australia, biosecurity services are delivered by government and industry in partnership with farmers and the wider community as a shared responsibility. This is described in a biosecurity continuum to convey that biosecurity outcomes cannot be delivered if any element of the continuum is missing or ineffective. Biodiversity is both an outcome of and a contributor to biosecurity actions, for example as a source of biological control agents and genetic diversity for host resistance breeding. Biotechnology is a tool that can help deliver biosecurity outcomes, although it may also generate biosecurity concerns unless appropriately managed. Our environment and the activities it supports can be viewed as a large and complex ecosystem. Meshing the biosecurity continuum approach with an ecosystem concept can help government, industry and communities to identify priority actions to deliver trade, food safety and security and biodiversity outcomes through risk-based analysis and delivery of biosecurity actions. Valuing the outcomes of biosecurity actions, particularly in the natural or built environment where dollar values are not as clear as they are in commercial production systems, is difficult and generally a product of societal values and individual impacts.


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