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Posted on Mon, 22 Aug 2022, 10:18

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© FAO/Saul Palma

Rome, 22 August. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat and Regional Plant Protection Organizations of the Caribbean held their annual regional workshop virtually on 16-18 August. The conference theme this year is Innovative Plant Health for Food Security.

The IPPC opening message was given by IPPC Secretary Osama El-Lissy who emphasized the essential role that innovative plant health methods have in guaranteeing the right to food for everyone. He reminded participants that preventative international phytosanitary standards are key to avoiding costly eradication and control responses to emergency pest outbreaks in all regions of the globe.

The IPPC has an important role in protecting plants and in combatting hunger on a global scale. The IPPC Secretariat remains committed to working together with FAO and national and regional plant protection organizations in fulfilling our collective mission. That is, to safeguard agricultural and natural resources against invasive pests and diseases. We also work to facilitate the safe trade not only of plants, plant products, and regulated articles but also of agricultural crops that will help feed an increasingly hungry global population,” El-Lissy says.

Live welcoming remarks were presented by FAO Caribbean Sub-Regional office representative Guy Martin, Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency Chief Executive Officer Gavin Peters, and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture representative Janet Lawrence.

The IPPC Caribbean Regional Workshop was chaired by Thaddeus Peter of Grenada’s National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) who led nearly 50 registered participants from 15 Caribbean countries in the discussions. Participants learned about IPPC activities and shared views, information and updates on activities and initiatives in the region. The IPPC Secretariat and RPPO representatives gave topic reviews and received comments on draft standards including:

  • Revision of ISPM 4 Requirements for the establishment of pest-free areas
  • Revision of ISPM 18 Guidelines for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary measure
  • 2021 Amendments to ISPM 5 Glossary of phytosanitary terms
  • Criteria for evaluation of available information for determining host status of fruit to fruit flies (2018-011) to ISPM 37 (Determination of host status of fruit flies (Tephritidae)
  • Draft 2022 Amendments to ISPM 5: Glossary on phytosanitary terms
  • Use of specific import authorizations (Annex to ISPM 20: Guidelines for a phytosanitary import regulatory system)

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Various members of the Caribbean countries shared reports and case studies on the latest IPPC and Caribbean regional plant health activities and initiatives. Among those who presented included member of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measure (CPM) Bureau Javier Trujillo, Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency plant health specialist Juliet Goldsmith, IPPC Standards Committee member Hernando Morera González, Implementation and Capacity Development Committee member Francisco Gutierrez, Inter-America Institute of Cooperation for Agriculture (IICA) representative Janet Lawrence, FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean representative Guy Martin, United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and Quarantine directors Christian Dellis and Dennis Martin, and IPPC Secretariat representative Fitzroy White.

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and Saint Lucia highlighted the major activities undertaken by NPPOs on activities related to the inaugural of the International Day of Plant Health on 12 May 2022. Other topics included the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030 Development Agenda Items on Pest Outbreak and Response System, e-commerce and perspectives on IPPC commodity standards and Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation.

The IPPC Secretariat leads thanked the Caribbean regional workshop organizing committee members for their success in fulfilling a fruitful and robust workshop chaired by Mr Peters.

Workshop participants were asked to complete an online survey before and after the Regional Workshop. The objective of the survey was to gauge an understanding and ranking of key areas and priority strengths of phytosanitary knowledge on national plant pest outbreaks and emergency response systems.

More details on the Caribbean Regional Workshop will be published on the International Phytosanitary Portal (IPP).

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