Regional Biosecurity Plan for Micronesia and Hawaii

Participants in the final workshop for the RBP join at the University of Guam in May, 2014.

Participants in the final workshop for the RBP join at the University of Guam in May, 2014.

In 2015 the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Department of the Navy completed the Regional Biosecurity Plan (RBP) for Micronesia and Hawaii. The RBP is an unprecedented effort to analyze risks and coordinate enhancements in biosecurity. The RBP was initiated as part of the environmental impact analysis for a plan to potentially relocate military personnel from a base in Okinawa, Japan.

Recognizing that the potential relocation of personnel would bring large-scale shifts in transportation patterns and the movement of goods throughout the region, the U.S. DOD funded the development of three risk assessments identifying pathways and risk assessments regarding the potential for invasive species to be accidentally moved along these shifting travel and trade routes. These risk assessments focus on pathways and risks in three areas:

  • Terrestrial ecosystems (completed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Freshwater ecosystems (completed by the U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Marine ecosystems (completed by the Smithsonian Institute).

In addition to these risk assessments, the RBP includes biosecurity recommendations for each of the jurisdictions covered within the geographic and political scope of the document. Those jurisdictions include the State of Hawaii, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) national government as well as the individual state governments of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. DOD, and the U.S. Federal Government, as it relates to its jurisdictions within the region.

Governments within the jurisdictions included in the scope of the RBP have been invited to endorse the overarching goals and recommendations of the plan and to review, amend, and implement the action items accompanying the biosecurity recommendations provided for their respective jurisdictions. The Hawaii Invasive Species Council adopted HISC Resolution 14-1, endorsing the goals and recommendations of the RBP on October 28, 2014.