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Secretary of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Osama El-Lissy, meets with senior officials in Ottawa and Washington, DC

Posted on Tue, 13 Dec 2022, 08:03

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07/12/2022 Washington, DC – Osama El-Lissy, Secretary of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), held high-level meetings during the week of November 28 in Ottawa, Canada and Washington, DC.

In discussions with leaders of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Global Affairs Canada and Senators Harder and Black, Secretary El-Lissy emphasized the importance of phytosanitary measures to protect plant health, human health,food security and global trade, noting that the Canadian government has been a steadfast supporter of IPPC’s mandate.

In the US, which has long been a stalwart supporter of IPPC and FAO, Secretary El-Lissy underscored the importance of establishing a global pest outbreak alert and response system to assist countries to prepare for and respond to emerging pests to protect their territories and their access to export markets. While in Washington, DC, El-Lissy held discussions with USAID’s Chief Scientists and senior leaders of USAID’s Bureau of Resilience and Food Security; U.S. State Department Offices and USDA’s acting Deputy Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs; and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative. In addition, on Capitol Hill, he met with Senator John Boozman, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, as well as staff members from the offices of Senator Tom Carper and Representative Adrian Smith.

IPPC standards promote plant health and food security

Plant pests and diseases cause food crop losses of up to 40 percent. As a result, according to FAO estimates, each year, plant diseases cost the global economy over $220 billion, and invasive insects another$100 billion. This damage and loss to agriculture exacerbates food insecurity and threatens rural livelihoods. In addition, once established, invasive alien species are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

According to Osama El-Lissy: “The safe trade of healthy plants and plant products across borders form the basis of the food value chain and the fight against world hunger. Without plant production, there will be no food for humans or feed for animals. The IPPC has an essential role in providing the required knowledge and polices to secure the safe movement of billions of plants and plant products across borders, and consequently to support the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.”

In 2021, the “Scientific Review on the Impact of Climate Change on Plant Pests”, prepared under the auspices of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, showed that human activities and increased market globalization, coupled with rising temperatures from climate change, has led to a situation that is favorable to pest movement. The report calls for international cooperation and development of harmonized plant protection strategies to help countries successfully adapt their pest risk management measures to climate change.

With a total of 184 contracting parties to its treaty, the IPPC is the sole global standard setting organization for plant health, with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) as its main tool to achieve its goals. Ongoing work on the adoption of IPPC standards will help countries as they seek to put in place best practices in plant health and safe trade.

More information:

IPPC - International Plant Protection Convention

Scientific review of the impact of climate change on plant pests

Strategic Framework for the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) 2020–2030

Global body for protecting plant health meets as advocacy efforts accelerate

This article was originally published by FAO in North America.

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