Posted on Wed, 08 Sep 2021, 14:30
Rome, 30 August 2021. The 2021 IPPC Regional Workshop for the Caribbean was held virtually from 24 to 26 August with the participation of over 70 representatives from 15 Caribbean countries and territories. This annual occurrence serves as a forum for plant health experts and different stakeholders in the Caribbean region to present case studies, share knowledge and best practices to improve plant health in the region. Discussion on the regulatory framework for the movement of seeds in international trade (ISPM 38) and updates on the situation regarding Tropical Race 4 were high on the agenda.
Juliet Goldsmith, Plant Health Specialist at the Caribbean Agriculture Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), welcomed all participants and thanked the organizing committee for the meeting with particular recognition in the contribution the IPPC Secretariat, the sub-regional office for the Caribbean, the representatives on the CPM Bureau on the Standards Committee and the Implementation and Capacity Development Committee. She also asked the participants to honor the lives lost in the recent earthquake in Haiti with one minute of silence.
The Workshop opened with welcoming remarks by Avetik Nersisyan, IPPC Officer in Charge for daily matters. He attributed the endorsement of the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030 as the beginning of a new era for the phytosanitary community and mentioned the importance of this Regional Workshop as an exceptional forum to review draft international standards for phytosanitary measures, share ideas, enhance cooperation, and work together to advance plant health in the region and beyond.
Vyjayanthi Lopez, Plant Production and Protection Officer at the FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, welcomed the participants including heads of national quarantine authorities and delegates and reminded that 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. The year is an opportunity to promote the synergies between plant health and fruits and vegetables by promoting healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and use of technology and to reduce food losses and waste along the value chain.
Welcoming the participants on behalf of CAHFSA was Gavin Peters who highlighted that the workshop is a unique opportunity for countries to increase their phytosanitary capacity to protect plant resources, and share experiences in regards to standard setting rules. Peters added that IPPC regional workshops are a great opportunity to provide inputs to international standards, as well as to strength capacity development.
Janet Lawrence, Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality Specialist from Inter-America Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), gave a brief overview on the contribution of IICA on protecting plant resources and cooperation with the global plant health community. She highlighted the importance of plant health standards in maintaining regional and national food security to facilitate trade and maintain the socio economic well-being of all people in the region.
Updates on Governance and Strategy of the IPPC and the ePhyto activities undertaken in the Caribbean region were also presented. IPPC presentations and case studies from the region aided the participants to review and comment on the eight draft standards and one CPM recommendation, including:
Presentations on the major activities undertaken by the IPPC community over the past year included the successful implementation of the first ever virtual Commission on Phytosanitary Measures and the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) closure. The IPPC community was encouraged to implement the IYPH legacy, especially the proclamation of the International Day of Plant Health championed by the government of Zambia.