On 26 January 2017 an award for exceptional teamwork was conferred on the cross-UN agency team consisting of staff from the Joint FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, and staff from the Standard setting unit of the IPPC Secretariat. The award is an honour bestowed upon staff of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department of FAO who carry out activities through exceptional teamwork that have a major impact on meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the FAO strategic objectives.
Over the past 12 years, the IPPC-IAEA joint team has worked first to facilitate the development of a suite of fruit fly standards (the last of which was adopted in 2016) and second to reorganize and harmonize those fruit fly standards to enhance countries’ understanding and ability to implement them at a national level. Enhanced implementation of the standards will help limit the spread of fruit fly pests, which in turn will help reduce poverty as farmers will have a higher yield, less loss and increased opportunity to trade. Ultimately, this reorganization of the fruit fly standards will help improve the living conditions of farmers, including smallholder farmers from some of the poorest parts of the world.
In addition, the joint team has worked collaboratively on raising awareness about the importance of preventing and limiting the spread of fruit fly pests with the international movement of commodities, and about ensuring safer trade. Examples are the news article on “Host status”, the side event “Stop those pests!” held during the 43rd session of the Committee on Food Security, and the many workshops that have been conducted in Member States.
As Eva Moller, IPPC Secretariat, said: “Sometimes, we may think that doing our job is nothing exceptional. We all try to give our best every day, knowing that we work for a noble cause and wishing to do our bit to meet our overall goals. We know that. But we did not know that all this is in fact not to be taken for granted - that it is in fact exceptional.” Rui Cardoso Pereira, Joint FAO/IAEA Division, agreed: “We won the award because of our dedication to the work and because we have managed to find ways of smooth and inclusive collaboration between our organizations. Communication has been continuing and support from management strong, leading to effective results that will have a decisive impact at the national and international levels.”
While the joint team officially includes only those who have supported the work on a daily basis, many more staff from the two organizations and externally have been involved over time, and the results attained would not have been possible without them, the experts of the IPPC Technical Panel on Pest Free Areas and Systems Approaches for Fruit Flies (TPFF) as well as the Standards Committee.
The joint team includes 1) the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture Rui Cardoso Pereira, Entomologist and member of the TPFF, Walther Enkerlin, Entomologist and former member of the TPFF, and Nima Mashayekhi, Support to the TPFF meetings; and 2) the IPPC Secretariat members Brent Larson, Standards Officer, Eva Moller, Support to the TPFF, and Céline Germain, Support to the TPFF.
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