Strategic Planning Group deepens collaboration on global plant health

Posted on Fri, 22 Oct 2021, 09:28

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©FAO/Sergey Kozmin

Rome, 22 September 2021. The Strategic Planning Group (SPG) concluded its tenth session yesterday with fruitful recommendations on key strategic matters, including phytosanitary tools, One Health, certification processes, and the International Year of Plant Health legacies. The meeting was chaired by John Greifer, vice chairperson of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures and started with showcasing two technical papers on the Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation tool and consideration on issuing phytosanitary certification according to ISPM 12. In the first paper, Australia and New Zealand emphasised some issues related to the Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) tool as an assessment instrument for contracting parties of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to improve their national phytosanitary systems. The paper recommended to expand the usage of the PCE tool by making it more accessible and flexible, and by considering national and regional sensitivity and context.

In its second paper, New Zealand argued about reviewing ISPM 12 to include certain non-phytosanitary information and government-to-government assurances on phytosanitary certificates through electronic means. The paper pointed out that this change will encourage the rapid release and clearances of goods, while reducing time and cost of compliance for traders and operators. The new proposed modification will allow each country to contain information related to non-phytosanitary matters where allowed by the importing country’s Competent Authorities.

The International Year of Plant Health and its legacies such as the International Day of Plant Health and the International Plant Health Conference was positively discussed by SPG members. "With the generous support from several IPPC contracting parties, the first ever International Plant Health Conference is already set to become a milestone recurring event for the plant health community", said Arop Deng, Lead of the Integration and Support Team of the IPPC Secretariat. "Hopefully, the conference will be held on concurrence with the potentially first ever International Day of Plant Health on 12 May", he added.

The SPG Chairperson suggested that the CPM Focus Group on Communications can provide alternative solutions to keep raising awareness of the importance of plant health in case the International Day of Plant Health is not proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly at the end of this year. As for the preparations of the sixsteenth session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-16), the IPPC Secretary OiC, Avetik Nersisyan said that the CPM Bureau agreed to hold CPM-16 virtually on 5, 7 and 21 April 2022. A poll for contracting parties is open to express their preferences on CPM-16 modalities no later than 30 November 2021.

The last session of the meeting was dedicated to key issues including the IPPC dispute settlement procedure, the framework for standards and implementation, the selection process of new IPPC Secretary, and the revision of the Implementation and Capacity Development Committee’s terms of reference and rules of procedure.

The meeting report will be available on this page.

The SPG next meeting will be on 11 and 14 October 2022.

The meeting report will be available through the following link.

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