The Standards Committee (SC) met from 14-18 November 2016 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Five International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) were approved to be adopted by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) at its next meeting in April 2017. This was just after the SC also approved 11 phytosanitary treatments to go forward for adoption.
This is the first time in the history of the IPPC that 16 standards will be presented for adoption. This is the result of strong leadership by the SC Chairperson, Mr Jan Bart Rossel, the dedication of all 25 SC members representing the seven FAO regions and the seamless coordination of the standard setting process by the IPPC Secretariat.
Among the standards were the controversial topics “International movement of wood” and “International movement of growing media”, standards that have previously been presented for adoption but were rejected by contracting parties. Why? Because developing harmonized requirements for wide ranges of commodities affected by hundreds of pests is by nature one of the biggest challenges for national plant protection organizations. The standards also represent a new era for the IPPC, the world’s only standard setting organization for plant health, and the long and winding road that these standards have taken demonstrate that the IPPC community is intent on progressing them, despite their difficulties. The phytosanitary treatments will provide contracting parties with alternative methods to treat commodities to help ensure that pest introduction and spread are limited. These new treatments also provide an alternative to other treatments that may contribute to climate change.
Follow the progress on the adoption of the standards at https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/governance/cpm/ and learn more about the IPPC and plant health standard setting at https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/standards-setting/.
The SC report will soon be publicly available here: https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/standards-setting/standards-committee/.
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