Plant health is a key factor in any strategy to achieve food security, protect the environment and biodiversity, and facilitate safe trade.
The First International Plant Health Conference aims to address new and emerging plant health challenges, including climate change impacts, the risks associated with significant increase in international trade, the rapid loss of biological diversity and new pest pathways such as e-commerce by exploring more efficient national, regional and global policies, structures and mechanisms.
The Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) is a fully comprehensive NPPO-led, facilitator-enabled, IPPC Secretariat supported process of multiple phases, with a wide range of benefits, to help countries evaluate their phytosanitary capacities.
Is a framework that the country adopts for its own purposes and benefits, and with support from an internationally-trained PCE facilitator
Uses a modular online software system consisting of 13 modules that uses a questionnaire style to document the evaluation process. NPPOs can decide to apply all the modules or just a few, according to their preferences
Empowers NPPOs to put in place a sovereign plan for how they wish to address any gaps identified, at their system and organizational level and to better implement their core activities to enhance their food security and international trade.
Enables NPPOs to fully prioritize activities/resources, through a framework for rational strategic planning, to fill gaps and enhance the effectiveness of the overall phytosanitary system.
To find out more about the PCE process and how to start one in your country, read the next steps below or contact Sarah Brunel, IPPC Implementation Facilitation Officer, at [email protected]
The process is driven by staff of the NPPO but should involve non-NPPO representatives from appropriate government agencies, research institutes, universities, agro-industries or import/export associations, etc.
In order to empower the NPPOs to lead this process, the IPPC Secretariat, with the funding from STDF, has trained a network of PCE expert facilitators available to support the running of a PCE. Through rigorous training, these global experts have in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the PCE process and tool, they bring a key position of neutrality to the process and facilitate a transparent and reliable evaluation process. They guide the process to ensure interests of all stakeholders are fairly represented and no conflicts of interest are present.
The PCE tool is available to any country upon making an official request to the IPPC Secretariat. Once contact has been made, a facilitator has been chosen and a PCE team is in place:
1. The First PCE mission: situation analysis
The first PCE mission is held in the country and lasts about one week. It identifies and invites available members of the PCE team and relevant stakeholders. The mission starts with a briefing with the PCE team, followed by an official opening which may be attended by ministers.
A consensus workshop is then held with all relevant stakeholders to fill in the online selected PCE Modules. For each module, a maximum of five weaknesses are identified. The first PCE mission might also include technical visits to the airports, ports, border points, diagnostic laboratories, production sites, etc. A brief about the mission is prepared and sent to the FAO permanent representative, the highest authorities in the country and any stakeholders the PCE team considers relevant. A report is prepared after each mission and submitted the IPPC Secretariat, indicating results to date and next steps.
2. Second PCE mission: strategic planning
The second PCE mission brings together the PCE team and all relevant stakeholders to prepare a problem tree, do a SWOT analysis and develop a logical framework to address the weaknesses that were identified. They then begin drafting a national phytosanitary capacity development strategy. A workshop can be organized to discuss the revised phytosanitary legislation or regulations with all stakeholders.
Field visit may be organized and interviews are conducted with selected stakeholders.
3. Third PCE mission: validation
During the third and last PCE mission, all stakeholders validate the draft legislation/regulations and the national phytosanitary capacity development strategy. They officially present them to the FAO country office, high-level national authorities and donors.
At this stage, the PCE team and stakeholders have taken full ownership of the outputs of the PCE and of the process itself. They are fully empowered to present and defend their phytosanitary legislation, regulations and strategy.
The PCE is a modular online software system consisting of 13 semi structured questionnaire type modules.
1: Country profile
2: National phytosanitary legislation
3: Environmental forces assessment
4: NPPOs mission and strategy
5: NPPOs structure and processes
6: NPPOs resources
7: Pest diagnostic capacity
8: NPPO pest surveillance and pest reporting capacity
9: Pest eradication capacity
10: Phytosanitary import regulatory system
11: Pest risk analysis
12: Pest free areas, places and sites, low pest prevalence areas
13: Export certification, re-export, transit
The PCE is designed to be implemented at a pace defined by the country and generally lasts 6 months to 1 year. The IPPC Secretariat recommends that a complete PCE be applied every 3-4 years. It can be applied as a whole, or in parts, and as frequently as needed.
The IPPC Secretariat has dedicated considerable efforts to developing the PCE and applying it in dozens of countries. A full-fledged PCE requires an average of USD 80 000 (including reviewing and drafting the primary phytosanitary legislation).
The IPPC Secretariat does not fund the PCE but works in close collaboration with donors to provide the support for applying a PCE when requested. Countries need to identify internal or donor-funded resources. Some contracting parties are able to finance the process unilaterally, e.g. from their national budget. In other situations, donors may sponsor the application of the PCE.
In all cases, countries should allocate some resources for planning, identifying stakeholders and organizing workshops to support the PCE process until completion.
In the majority of cases, the PCE has been applied through FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) projects. The completion of the PCE is often seen as a requirement from donors - such as the Standard and Trade Development Facility (STDF) - for granting project funds.
The PCE modules and outputs are confidential for the following reasons:
The PCE process involves strategic thinking at the policy, technical and managerial levels. It also requires a deep understanding of plant health, stakeholders management, the operations of a phytosanitary system, the IPPC text and the international phytosanitary framework, etc. If PCE modules were freely accessible, they might be applied without the proper knowledge and facilitation and not be properly used.
PCE modules collect comprehensive data about national phytosanitary systems that might be economically, politically and technically sensitive and countries might not wish these to be publicly released.
Many years of experience shows that NPPOs ask for confidentiality regarding the PCE modules because of possible actions from trading partners.
Therefore, the IPPC does not share PCE results publicly unless a country wishes to use or present their PCE results to an external audience.
An official letter of request to conduct a PCE should be sent by a high-level official (e.g. Minister of Agriculture) through the IPPC Contact Point of the requesting country to the IPPC Secretary (with copy to Sarah Brunel [email protected]) indicating that the country is fully committed to undertaking a PCE and has the available funds to do it. The PCE coordinators name and CV should be included.
The IPPC Secretariat will then propose a PCE facilitator and discuss further arrangements. If the IPPC Secretariat oversees the PCE, it will help organize the first PCE mission and identify stakeholders for the consensus workshops for each selected PCE Module.
However, countries may wish to conduct PCEs on their own.