The 2020 IPPC Regional Workshop for Europe and Central Asia: Continuing the discussion on regional phytosanitary issues

Posted on Mon, 14 Sep 2020, 14:28

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1 September 2020 - The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Regional Workshop for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) took place virtually on 31 August and 1 September 2020, chaired by Mr Ringolds Arnitis, Expert from the State Plant Protection Service of Latvia. Over 40 representatives from 18 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan) gathered online to discuss national and regional priorities and challenges on plant health. This was the first time Uzbekistan joined the IPPC Regional Workshop as a Contracting Party, after ratifying the IPPC in January 2020.

Mr Piotr Wlodarczyk, Agricultural Officer from the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia made his opening remarks on behalf of the FAO Assistant Director-General for the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. Mr Wlodarczyk stressed the importance of mitigating the risk of plant pests and diseases to protect food security and economic development, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also confirmed that the FAO Regional Office is ready to support countries in the ECA region who are facing phytosanitary challenges. Moreover, Mr Nico Horn, Director-General of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) highlighted the importance of continuing to work together to address issues in plant health, especially during the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020.

Participants shared views on the draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) and discussed regional and national phytosanitary issues. Regarding the Focused Revision of ISPM 12 in relation to re-export (2015-011), participants discussed the responsibility of countries issuing Phytosanitary Certificates (PC). The importance of declaring multiple countries as “place of origin” of a consignment was stressed to recognize phytosanitary risks associated with re-export. Ms Laurence Bouhot-Delduc, Standards Committee member from Europe, stressed how this draft standard is expected to bring more clarity on re-export issues. Given the substantial relation between the draft ISPM on Audits in the phytosanitary context (2015-014) and the one on Requirements for NPPOs if authorizing entities to perform phytosanitary actions (2014-002), several participants expressed concerns about proceeding with the Audits standard without the adoption of a standard on Authorization. Participants also shared ideas on new topic proposals for the 2021 Call for Topics on Standards and Implementation.

Finally, Mr Ralf Lopian, Chairperson of the IYPH International Steering Committee (ISC), presented the status of the planned activities for IYPH and highlighted the importance of those initiatives that will result in an IYPH legacy. Although many planned IYPH events have been affected by the pandemic, he reported that the IYPH digital campaigns are being very successful. Mr Lopian invited participants to share national and regional IYPH activities with the IYPH Secretariat ([email protected]) or register their events online to be included on the IYPH online calendar and interactive map.

The report of the 2020 IPPC Regional Workshop for ECA will be published at the following link: https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/capacity-development/regional-ippc-workshops/

Presentations from the 2020 IPPC Regional Workshop are available at the following link: https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/capacity-development/regional-ippc-workshops/2020-ippc-regional-workshop/

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