Dr. Anne Bucher, the Director-General of the DG-SANTE of the European Commission (EC) emphasized the importance of plant health and capacity development in her keynote address at the CPM-14 of the IPPC.
1 April 2019, Rome–Dr. Anne Bucher, the Director-General of the DG-SANTE of the European Commission (EC) delivered the keynote address on Plant Health and Capacity Development at the14th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-14) of the IPPC, which is taking place at FAO headquarters in Rome from 1 to 5 April 2019. She welcomed the IPPC Community’s decision to dedicate 2019 to “Plant Health and Capacity Development” and dedicated her speech to this important topic.
Dr. Bucher highlighted the importance of healthy plants as the central element of the food chain and their essential role in maintaining the atmosphere, securing sustainable water supplies, providing people with countless products and creating habitats for animals to live.
She noted that keeping plants healthy in an increasingly globalized world, with the added challenge of climate change, requires us to continually adapt to changing circumstances. This requires developing institutional capacity and new skills. She called capacity development “a keystone for the proper functioning of plant health at national, regional and global levels” and that “only with sufficiently robust institutional capacity can our plant health policies have a positive impact on food security, trade facilitation and environmental protection”.
The EU is the world’s biggest agri-food trader and importer of plants and plant products, and is thus committed to investing in developing plant health capacity. For example, it will be applying a new plant health law at the end of 2019. It supports many capacity development projects including co-funding the Standards and Trade Development Facility and FAO’s “Framework for partnership for the sustainable management of Fall Armyworm in Africa”. It has also contributed over EUR 4 million to the IPPC Secretariat to allow plant health experts from developing and least developed countries to fully participate in IPPC activities.
Dr Bucher thanked the IPPC for making capacity development one of its core activities and establishing the Implementation and Capacity Development Committee (IC). Finally, she called on FAO Governing bodies to strengthen regular budget funding for the IPPC Work Programme.
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