The 2020 IPPC Regional Workshop for Southwest Pacific: cooperate to promote plant health

Posted on Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 10:09

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Rome, 28 August 2020 - The 2020 IPPC Regional Workshop (RW) for the Southwest Pacific was held virtually in five separate sessions from 21 to 28 August 2020, chaired by Mr Nacanieli Waqa, Vice-Chair of the Pacific Plant Protection Organization (PPPO) and attended by over 35 participants. The theme of this year’s RW was the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) Legacy.

Participants discussed draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), implementation issues, and other relevant topics of particular interest for the region.

During the opening session, Mr Xia Jingyuan, the newly appointed Director of the FAO Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) and former IPPC Secretary, invited the participants to organize as many activities as possible to raise awareness of plant health at the regional and national level. Ms Eriko Hibi , the FAO Sub-regional coordinator for Pacific also emphasized the importance of plant health, when she mentioned that FAO fully recognizes the critical role that plant health plays in the journey to end hunger and malnutrition, reduce poverty, protect environment, and boost economic development. During the opening session of the workshop, Mr Peter Thompson, Director Plants and Pathways at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand, was officially introduced to the Pacific plant health community as the newly appointed Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) Bureau member and representative for the region.

Participants also reviewed, discussed, and commented on drafts ISPMs, which were submitted through the Online Commenting System (OCS). Discussions were focused on Audits in the phytosanitary context and on Commodity-based standards for phytosanitary measures, which are particularly important for the South West Pacific. In fact, the vast majority of countries in the region is composed of small islands which

are particularly exposed to risks of pest introduction through commodities due to the increased incidence of international trade in the region.

Special importance was also given to the promotion of the IYPH and efforts to ensure there will be a legacy left behind 2020. In this regard, the Pacific Plant Protection Organization decided to support the proclamation of an International Day of Plant Health (IDPH). Finally, IYPH initiatives undertaken at the regional level were highlighted, and contracting parties were encouraged to raise awareness of the importance of IDPH and support this initiative.

The report of the 2020 IPPC Regional Workshop for Southwest Pacific 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-ippcregional-workshop/

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