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ADAFSA Launches Biosecurity Programme To Promote Integration Of Human, Animal, Plant, Environmental Health
(23 February 2024)


The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has announced the launch of its' One Health 'biosecurity programme, which aims to promote the integration of human, animal and plant health and the environment.

The launch of the programme is in line with the wise leadership's directives and international standards outlined in the Joint International Action Plan on the One Health Approach for 2022-2026. The announcement was made during a workshop organised by ADAFSA last week and attended by international organisations affiliated to the United Nations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and relevant federal and local government agencies.

The One Health Biosecurity Programme stands as an innovative initiative reflecting Abu Dhabi's dedication to cross-sectoral integration, ensuring the health and safety of the community and the environment. This involves establishing an effective monitoring system to track and monitor health conditions associated with each sector, developing preventive policies and measures to limit the spread of diseases and epidemics, and enhancing the sustainability of natural resources.

The Biosecurity Programme comprises eight key initiatives aimed at establishing an effective surveillance system based on the monitoring of human, animal, plant and environmental health conditions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This includes analysing data to identify and assess risks and take the necessary preventive and corrective measures. In addition, the programme focuses on developing policies and measures based on plans and programmes to reduce the spread of diseases and epidemics, promoting awareness and education on biosecurity requirements, and training human cadres to apply best practices to enhance the sustainability of natural resources and protect them from pollution and overexploitation. This includes rationalising water and energy use.

The programme also aims to facilitate integration across sectors such as health, agriculture, environment, industry and education. It emphasises the exchange of information and data between stakeholders to develop joint plans and programmes in line with the strategic objectives of the initiative.

Mouza Suhail Al Muhairi, Deputy Director-General for Regulatory and Administrative Affairs at ADAFSA, affirmed that the programme's launch in the presence of international organisations underscores the significance of international cooperation in promoting the concept of biosecurity and its comprehensive implementation.

She explained that the programme aims to leverage international experience and share best practices in the field of biosecurity. She highlighted ADAFSA's collaboration with various international organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Furthermore, Al Muhairi detailed that the One Health Biosecurity Programme includes a steering committee known as the "One Health Committee - Abu Dhabi". This committee is responsible for developing plans and programmes, monitoring and evaluation, and technical working groups emerging from it, in accordance with the requirements of the One Health Approach. It is anticipated that the programme's initiatives will yield positive results, impacting public health, enhancing the food security system, and contributing to the sustainability of natural resources, aligning with the vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE to build a better future for future generations.

At the end of the workshop, all international organisations reaffirmed their support for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in implementing a pioneering experience in the field of One Health, in line with relevant legislation, agreements and policies. They also pledged to disseminate these practices at regional and international levels. Representatives of the federal and local authorities attending the workshop reaffirmed their commitment to implementing and supporting the programme, with the aim of establishing the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a regional and global model in the field of biosecurity and One Health.

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