The 2016 IPPC Regional Workshop for the South-West Pacific was held in Nadi, Fiji from the 12th to 14th September 2016. The Workshop was jointly organized the IPPC Secretariat, PPPO and FAO sub-regional offices, and financed supported by the Australian AID. The Workshop was attended by over 40 participants from 13 PPPO members as well as its metropolitan parties, Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Ken Cokanasiga, the SPC LRD Deputy Director for Agribusiness and Trade, and Dr Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary, were present at the Workshop, and delivered a welcome address and a keynote speech, respectively.
Dr Cokanasiga officially welcomed distinguished guests, heads of quarantine, member delegates, and especially the IPPC Secretary, Dr Jingyuan Xia who came all the way from FAO-Rome to attend the Workshop. He stated that with the challenges of rising sea level and global warming, and increases in international travel and trade, organisms that present risks to our unique Pacific flora and fauna are becoming a common interception at our borders. New pest incursions and pest outbreaks continue to cost governments, farmers and consumers billions of dollars every year. Furthermore, once pest species are established their eradication is often impossible, while controlling those takes up a significant percentage of our national budgets. He said the IPPC, through the Standards Committee and Expert Working Group, has over the years developed ISPM’s to address global issues that are of particular interest to the PPPO region. He added that the IPPC Regional Workshop on ISPMs is a way for PPPO members to provide further inputs to standards, as well as receive capacity development and contribute to solutions to extend PPPO funding beyond July 2017.
Dr Xia welcomed participants and expressed his high appreciation for the excellent organization of the Workshop. He explained why the IPPC regional workshops are the top priority for the IPPC Secretariat’s work. He highlighted four points: 1) IPPC annual themes — he stated that the annual theme for 2016 is Plant Health and Food Security, and the plant health enhances food security through promotion of “food availability, food accessibility, food affordability and food safety”; 2) IPPC Network — he urged all NPPOs to be active in participating the IPPC Regional Workshops, the IPPC Workshops on NRO and the other IPPC activities, and he encouraged all the RPPOs to be active in co-organizing the IPPC regional activities and attending the TC-RPPOs; 3) IPPC Communication —he mentioned that IPPC website belongs to the IPPC community, and he urged all community members in particular the NPPOs and RPPOs to be active in contributing their Brief News to the renewed IPPC website; and 4) IPPC priority — he stressed that the IPPC priorities would mainly focus on standard implementation, biosecurity, safe and efficient trade, and emerging pest issues, and communication and partnership. Finally, he urged all participants to be active in making positive contribution for a fruitful and productive workshop.
The three days of Workshop included, group exercise by the three regions in the Pacific namely, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia when making comments on the three draft ISPM for consultation. This grouping of the region in commenting on the draft ISPM and other activities like the import verification and diagnostic protocol, was well received by the participants from the region.
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