The Commission on Phytosanitary Measures fifteenth session concludes historic virtual meeting

Posted on Fri, 02 Apr 2021, 13:57

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© FAO/ Jake Salvador

Rome, 1 April 2021. The fifteenth session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-15) concluded on 1 April with a discussion on FAO response to the current desert locust upsurge and the adoption of the report. More than 350 participants from over 122 countries and 40 observer organizations attended the first-ever virtual edition of the IPPC governing body meeting and contributed to defining key priorities and actions for the global plant health community in the upcoming years.

Mr Lucien Kouame Konan from Côte d’Ivoire and Mr John Greifer from the United States of America have been appointed as the CPM Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson respectively, and started their terms after the conclusion of CPM-15 on 1 April. During the closing session, CPM-15 also acknowledged Mr Ralf Lopian from Finland for his tremendous contributions to the mission of the IPPC and the global plant health community over the last 30 years. With his retirement, “Mr Lopian leaves an indelible footprint, and will be always remembered as the driving force behind the proclamation and implementation of the International Year of Plant Health”, said Ms Ana Carvalho, representative of the European Union.

“Since I started my international work with the IPPC, my aim has been to lift the phytosanitary sector out of the obscurity of being a purely agricultural side show. I have tried to interconnect biodiversity preservation with plant health, an undertaking that has positioned the IPPC in center focus of international efforts to preserve the diversity of our flora against the threat of invasive alien pests”, said Mr Lopian during his farewell speech. “The Strategic Framework 2020-2030 contains some of my visions for a greater, better and more glorious IPPC”, he added.

The adoption of the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030 marks a starting point for the global phytosanitary community and delimits a new mission (protect global plant resources and facilitate safe trade), vision (minimize the spread of plant pests and their impacts within countries), and development agenda. CPM-15 stressed the importance of the Strategic Framework in linking the work of the IPPC to the UN 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and in promoting plant health and the role of the IPPC to contracting parties and audiences outside the plant health community. A newly established focus group will coordinate the implementation of the framework.

CPM-15 adopted eleven standards, including four International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures and seven Phytosanitary Treatments that provide “green” alternatives for pest management. In addition, a newly adopted recommendation on safe provision of food and other humanitarian aid gives clear guidance on the effective management of phytosanitary risks associated with aid to prevent the introduction of plant pests during emergencies. CPM endorsed the establishment of two new focus groups on communication and climate change and plant pests, advanced work on sea containers and ePhyto, and noted ongoing work on e-learning and use of new technologies in the IPPC work.

In addition, CPM thanked Zambia for championing on the yearly observance by the UN system of an International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) on 12 May, and called on IPPC contracting parties to support the IDPH proclamation process. The IYPH Technical Advisory Body will function as the IPPC preparatory body for the planning and organization of the International Plant Health Conference in May 2022 and the webinars leading to it, which are planned in May and June 2021.

Meeting documents and additional information on the discussion can be found at CPM-15 page.

A photo gallery of the CPM-15 closing session is available on the FAO Flickr account.

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