[ASC-media] CSIRO: Improved pest database to protect agriculture

Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au
Fri Dec 14 02:17:07 CET 2007

14 December 2007 

Ref 07/235

Improved pest database to protect agriculture

An important tool for protecting Australia's precious natural
environment and agricultural industries has been updated and improved.

A CSIRO team at the Tasmanian ICT Centre has recently completed a
comprehensive upgrade of the Australian Plant Pest Database (APPD), a
national online database of pests and diseases of Australia's
economically important plants.

Dr Ian Naumann of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
says that the APPD is a powerful tool for decision making.

"The APPD provides information on the existence and geographic location
of plant pests and diseases and provides a capability vital to the
national economy," he says.

"It provides critical support to decision making during emergency
management of incursions by exotic species and is a powerful tool for
evaluating proposals for new imports and supporting measures to exclude
potentially harmful organisms."

The initial phase of the project, completed in April 2002, allowed
searching across a number of reference collections that include pest and
disease records held by a large number of organisations across the

Previously, only a relatively small number of these collections had
transferred information into databases that were accessible to agencies
and organisations involved in plant health. The linking of these to
create a larger, Internet-based, national database was therefore a major
step forward, achieved through a partnership of CSIRO and Plant Health

"Part of the current upgrade has been to convert the current distributed
APPD system into a central data warehouse with automated refresh of the
information from source databases," says Michael Kennett of the
Tasmanian ICT Centre.

"The upgrade has also made the APPD more efficient, secure and powerful,
and improved its ease of use."

The new system has now been deployed nationally after comprehensive

The project builds on a data management capability being developed
within the Tasmanian ICT Centre.  The administration and hosting of the
APPD is performed by Plant Health Australia as part of the Company's
'National system of plant health information' program.  

The Tasmanian ICT Centre is jointly funded by the Australian Government
through the Intelligent Island Program and CSIRO. The Intelligent Island
Program is administered by the Tasmanian Department of Economic

A large number of partner organisations including Universities, State
and Federal Government departments and CSIRO contribute to the APPD.

Image available at:
Australian Plant Pest Database: 
Further Information:

Michael Kennett, Tasmanian ICT Centre
03 6232 5510; michael.kennett at csiro.au

Media Assistance:

Daniel Legovich, CSIRO ICT Centre
0405 495 195; daniel.legovich at csiro.au


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Beck Eveleigh
Media Assistant
CSIRO Media Liaison
6276 6451
0409 395 010

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