The 2nd virtual meeting for RPPOs organized to advance the IPPC work programme among regions during the Covid-19 pandemic

Posted on Thu, 09 Jul 2020, 08:54

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Rome, 26 June 2020 – The IPPC Secretariat organized the second virtual meeting with Regional Plant Protection Organizations (RPPOs) to discuss how to strengthen collaboration and involve the regions in key IPPC activities. The meeting was opened by Mr Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary, chaired by Mr Brent Larson, the Implementation Facilitation Unit Lead of the IPPC Secretariat, and attended by 24 representatives and observers from nine RPPOs, as well as all the members of the IPPC Secretariat core team.

In his opening remarks, Mr Xia highlighted that many activities have been organized by the IPPC Secretariat regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he thanked all the RPPOs for their invaluable support. In particular, he mentioned the important role played by RPPOs in facilitating discussions and helping achieve consensus among various IPPC stakeholders.

The IPPC Secretariat provided RPPOs representatives with updates on governance, standards setting, implementation and facilitation, the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) and the ePhyto Solution since the last virtual meeting. It was reported that Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) Bureau have discussed the scope of their decision-making in consultation with IPPC Contracting Parties (CPs). The IPPC Secretariat clarified that the adoption of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) remains in the remit of the CPM and will be undertaken during the 15th session (CPM-15) next year even though, following the established standard setting procedures, no objection had been submitted prior to the CPM-15.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 IPPC Regional Workshops are most likely to be delivered virtually in all regions. Regarding IYPH activities, the participants were updated on the proposal of an International Day of Plant Health (IDPH), whose date is suggested for 12 May, and should go through the FAO governing bodies for official approval as a legacy of IYPH. The IPPC Secretariat called upon all regions to fully support the approval process in order to have this initiative endorsed. Regarding the IPPC ePhyto solution, participants were informed that a video training for Generic National System (GeNs) users is now available on the IPP.

Ms Stephanie Bloem, the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) executive director and RPPO representative to the Implementation and Capacity Development Committee (IC), presented an update on the IC activities, and informed the RPPOs that the IC had set up a series of virtual meetings and started using virtual tools, such as the Online Comment System (OCS) to deliver the implementation and capacity development work. The participants were informed that the IC had discussed the development of an Implementation Plan for the Pest Free Area Guide and reviewed some of the issues related to the development of implementation and capacity development topics on the List of Implementation and Capacity Development Topics.

Lastly, IPPC Secretary Xia encouraged all regions to organize IYPH activities at the regional and national levels to increase awareness of plant health in their regions. All RPPO representatives were encouraged to join the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) meeting for 2020 to strengthen collaboration among IPPC community members.

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