The term biosecurity has different meanings in different contexts. In the setting of Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), biosecurity refers to mechanisms to establish and maintain the security and oversight of pathogenic microorganisms, toxins and relevant resources. In veterinary and agricultural fields biosecurity denotes the protection of biological resources from foreign or invasive species. In the public health biosecurity concerns the protection of microbiological assets from theft, loss or diversion, which could lead to the inappropriate use of these agents to cause public health harm. Laboratory biosecurity, according to the WHO laboratory biosecurity guidance publication of 2006 see
, is the protection, control and accountability for valuable biological materials within laboratories, in order to prevent their unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release. Biosecurity in the context of ancillary facilities (Biological Resources Centres) refers to institutional and personal security measures and procedures designed to prevent the loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release of pathogens, or parts of them, and toxin-producing organisms, as well as such toxins that are held, transferred and/or supplied by Biological Resources Centres.
The major concern with biosecurity being dual use, that is, the misuse of research intended for legitimate purposes in the production of bioweapons. The front line defense against the misuse of biological research are scientists, who can come up with effective guidelines and standards that deter the misuse without inhibiting the exploration of new and important lines of research. The National Biotechnology Authority in this respect is responsible for ensuring that the necessary standards are made into law and followed ensuring that the biosecurity of Zimbabwe is not compromised and that international agreements are not breached. The UN Security Council resolution1540 of 2004 reaffirms that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security.