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Biosecurity through community engagement

Royce, Paul (2011). Biosecurity through community engagement. In: Science Exchange 2011, Barossa Valley , SA, 9 - 11 February 2011.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 82056760xPUB96
Author Royce, Paul
Title Biosecurity through community engagement
Conference Name Science Exchange 2011
Conference Location Barossa Valley , SA
Conference Dates 9 - 11 February 2011
Conference Publication Title 2011 Science Exchange Handbook
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity (CRC Plant Biosecurity)
Publication Year 2011
Start Page 9
End Page 9
HERDC Category E3 - Conference Publication - Extract of paper (internal)
Abstract At present, biosecurity information is informed by quantitative, scientific experimentation and provided to communities by centralised agencies in structured, partisan and one way mediums. While the availability and provision of factual, accurate and current material is important to reducing the risks of biological incursions, such a process does not allow for a two-way dialogue in which local people have the opportunity to ask questions, put forward their own opinions, challenge other viewpoints, share their experiences and learn from the experiences of others. As a result, the opportunity to build an
understanding of biosecurity is limited to the written material provided by external agencies, which offers people a very narrow field to determine whether biosecurity information is correct, relevant and meaningful to an individual and the community in which they live. Similarly, such a process does not allow for the mutual development of trusting, respectful and reciprocal relations, which are central to the effective exchange of information, because the only interface between local people and biosecurity agencies is the brochures, websites or road signs they provide.

While there is no question that considerable and quality work is being undertaken by government agencies, local growers and industry bodies to address issues of biosecurity in Australia, the methods used to engage with communities and exchange relevant information does not encourage an increase in biosecurity interest or participation outside the agricultural sector. Unfortunately, biosecurity proponents still maintain the assumption that information provision equals social change; the greater the volume of information, the greater the probability that people will adopt biosecurity knowledge, which will in turn bring about a change in biosecurity attitudes, practice and behaviour. However, this study found that people will not take up biosecurity information and translate it into new knowledge and social change unless the perceived net result of this information is likely to impact on them personally or more specifically, the lifestyle and livelihood they currently or will potentially lead. This presentation will therefore examine the likely methods used by individuals to access information that is of personal interest or importance, how individuals gather this information, where this information is gathered from,
the volume of information an individual is likely to gather and the credibility attached to the information they are provided with. Effective community engagement processes and initiatives will also be introduced in order to offer up new ways of increasing broad community awareness and participation in biosecurity practice.
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Created: Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 00:15:21 CST