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Posted on Fri, 30 Sep 2016, 13:50

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The 2016 IPPC Regional Workshop for the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia took place on 5 - 9 September 2016 in Minsk, Republic of Belarus. The workshop was organized by the Regional and Sub Regional Office FAO for Europe and Central Asia and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), in collaboration with the Main State Inspectorate for Seed Production, Quarantine and Plant Protection of the Republic of Belarus and the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO).

32 participants from 17 national plant protection organizations (NPPOs), Mr Martin Ward (the Director General of EPPO), Mr Corné Van Alphen (the CPM Bureau representative for Europe), Mr Nico Horn (the Standards Committee member for Europe), Mr Ralf Lopian (representative of the Steering Committee of the International Year of Plant Heath (IYPH)), Ms Olga Lavrentjeva (EPPO CPM Panel member), participated in the workshop.

Ms Ketevan Lomsadze (Implementation Facilitation Unit), Mr Avetik Nersesyan (Agricultural Officer of FAO REU), Mr Hafiz Muminjanov, (Agricultural Officer of FAOSEC) and Mr Artur Shamilov (Plant Production and Protection Consultant of FAO REU) facilitated the meeting.

Mr. V.V. Grakun, the Vice-minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus opened the Workshop stressing its importance for the countries of the region in terms of the development of their phytosanitary services and for the exchange of information and knowledge at the regional level. Participants highly appreciated a video-welcoming message from the Secretary of IPPC in which emphasis on the plant health and importance of food security was placed. The All-Russian Plant Quarantine Centre kindly provided translation of the materials in Russian. The Workshop served to increase participants capacity to discuss and analyze draft ISPMs and formulate constructive technical and substantive comments for the first consultation in 2016, as well as to raise awareness on the IPPC related activities, and to exchange phytosanitary experiences at the regional level. Topics discussed in the workshop included the IPPC Guides on import verification and delivering pest diagnostic services, ePhyto project, emerging issues and pests of the region and preparatory work and preliminary programme of the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). Mr Ralf Lopian, a representative of the IYPH Steering Committee, called for countries to support the IYPH.

The IPPC Workshop was running in parallel to the Workshop of the European and Central Asian Committee on forest invasive species and members of that committee were given the opportunity to update on their activities. This laid the foundation for cooperation with the IPPC and the promotion of the implementation of ISPMs to protect forests from pests. The European and Central Asian Committee on forest invasive species network will disseminate information on best practices, experts and knowledge available worldwide. Focal points of the network are expected to cooperate with NPPOs.

Participants expressed appreciation for the Worksop and considered it as a very useful platform for the development of the NPPOs and as a forum for information and phytosanitary experience exchange.

The report of the Workshop is available here.

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