New opportunity to strengthen regional coordination of phytosanitary issues in Africa

Posted on Wed, 10 Mar 2021, 15:50

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Credit: ©FAO/Marco Longari

26 February 2021 - The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat convenes regular Technical Consultations of representatives of regional plant protection organizations (RPPOs), which are the regional coordinating bodies for various activities to achieve the objectives of the IPPC, currently there are ten RPPOs. The 32nd Technical Consultation among Regional Plant Protection Organizations (TC-RPPO) recently concluded and was led by the current Chairperson, Ms. Juliet GOLDSMITH from the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency.

One of the highlights of the discussions was the request from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to be recognized as a RPPO. ECOWAS is a regional group promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting 15 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo). Some RPPO representatives considered ECOWAS met the guidelines for recognition of RPPOs and indicated that ECOWAS organized impressive phytosanitary activities such as promoting electronic certification, coordinating fall armyworm activities and organizing trainings for border inspections. On the other hand, there were concerns raised that there had not been sufficient consultation in the region regarding having more than one RPPO in the Africa region and some RPPO representatives requested more time to review the application. Mr Benoit GNONLONFIN, representative of ECOWAS stressed that the coordination of phytosanitary issues between RPPOs at the continental level would be beneficial for countries. The TC-RPPO agreed to continue this discussion at their next meeting.

Another important issue was also discussed, considering the One Health Approach that is being considered in many countries in recent years. The possible linkages between the IPPC community and the One Health Approach were discussed, however participants considered that while phytosanitary activities may contribute to the One Health Approach, the focus of the Phytosanitary Community is different and they agreed the current priority of the work of RPPOs should be focussing on the implementation of the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030.

More details of the discussions may be found in the TC-RPPO meeting reports which are posted on the IPP at: https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/external-cooperation/partners/technical-consultation-among-rppos/

The TC-RPPO agreed to hold the 33rd TC-RPPO in three virtual sessions in October and November 2021.

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