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ADAFSA partners with FAO to launch world’s first Integrated Biosecurity Index

ADAFSA partners with FAO to launch world’s first Integrated Biosecurity Index
28 May 2024 15:51


The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), has launched the Integrated Biosecurity Index (IBI), which measures biosecurity level in plant and animal health, food safety and the environment in an integrated manner.

The IBI is a tool that assesses all levels of biosecurity. It features a hierarchical structure with six principles, 25 criteria, and a staggering 128 sub-indicators, providing a holistic and in-depth assessment.

ADAFSA and FAO collaborated closely to develop the index. A three-day joint workshop brought specialists from various biosecurity, animal health, plant health and food safety entities. The workshop focused on risk assessment and building effective management plans.

The initiative aims to facilitate knowledge and experience sharing in the field of biosecurity. It paves the way for broader adoption of the IBI by the FAO and its global implementation. The IBI is expected to revolutionise biosecurity assessment worldwide, contributing to enhanced food security, environmental protection, and human and animal health.

Mouza Suhail Al Muhairi, Deputy Director General for Regulatory and Administrative Affairs at ADAFSA, said that the development of the IBI is a significant global achievement that adds to the UAE's achievements under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

She emphasised the country's commitment to improving food security nationally and globally, and expressed pride in ADAFSA's success in developing a global IBI with the unwavering support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority.

Opening the joint workshop with FAO, Al Muhairi said that the IBI is a strategic tool to address the growing challenges to global food security. She noted that the development of the index responds to an urgent national and global need in the face of increasing risks to food value chains, globalisation and climate change.

She highlighted the workshop as an ideal opportunity to review the draft indicator, train specialists on the assessment process and the use of reliable tools, analyse the results, and develop and improve the registration criteria.

Al Muhairi said: "Biosecurity is a comprehensive strategic approach to analysing and managing risks related to human and animal health, plant health and the environment. It has significant implications for food safety and the control of common diseases. Globally, key indicators have been agreed upon to assess various aspects of biosecurity, but there lacks a comprehensive global index for measuring biosecurity".

She commended the collaboration with FAO in finalising this index and underlined ADAFSA's commitment to strengthening international cooperation on biosecurity, ensuring food safety, and protecting human, animal and, plant health. The IBI is expected to have many benefits, including helping decision-makers to better assess biosecurity risks, improving countries' ability to mitigate food security challenges, and strengthening international cooperation on biosecurity.

Dr. Markos Tibbo, Senior Livestock Development Officer at the FAO Subregional Office, expressed his satisfaction at working with ADAFSA to develop the IBI.

Dr. Tibbo hailed the collaboration as a model for international cooperation to enhance biosecurity and praised ADAFSA's efforts, describing the IBI as a landmark achievement with significant global implications for improving biosecurity.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Tibbo emphasised the importance of the Integrated Biosecurity Index (IBI) as a valuable tool for the effective assessment and management of biosecurity risks. He highlighted that the Index, as the first of its kind in the world, represents a remarkable advance in the field of biosecurity assessment.

He concluded by expressing confidence in the IBI's contribution to achieving sustainable development goals and ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns.

The workshop, attended by experts and specialists from various disciplines in government agencies at the state level, and focused on reviewing the draft indicator, training participants on the assessment process and the use of reliable tools, analyse the results, and develop and improve the registration criteria.

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