The IPPC Secretariat preparing for the implementation of the FAO Global Action for the Fall armyworm control in relation to the IPPC’s issues

Posted on Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 13:09

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Rome, 16 June 2020 – The IPPC Secretariat organized the first coordination meeting on preparation for the implementation of the FAO Global Action for the Fall armyworm control in relation to IPPC’s issues. The meeting was chaired by Mr Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary, and attended by Mr Chris Dale, Assistant Director at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Nico Horn, EPPO Director General, Mr Mekki Chouibani, NEPPO Executive Director, and Mr Visoni Timote, PPPO Executive Secretary. The meeting was also attended by relevant staff of the IPPC Secretariat, including Mr Arop Deng, Integration and Support team (IST) leader, Ms Sarah Brunel, Implementation Officer, Mr Qingpo Yang, IST officer, Mr Tommaso Teti, Finance Consultant, and Ms Sara Giuliani, Communication consultant. The main objective of the meeting was to formulate and coordinate the work of the IPPC in relation to IPPC-related issues.

It is well known, fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is now spreading worldwide with devastating consequences on plant health, food security, trade and ultimately on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder families. The pest is already established in sub-Saharan Africa, the Near East and Asia, and may likely soon reach southern Europe and the South-west Pacific. Once introduced in a new territory, FAW is extremely hard to eradicate. According to FAO estimates from twelve African countries, the pest can cause losses of 8.3 million to 20.6 million metric tonnes of maize annually, equivalent to USD 2.5 billion -USD 6.2 billion, and enough to feed 40 to 100 million people.

To tackle this global threat and scale up the efforts of the international community against FAW, FAO has developed a three-year Global Action for the Fall armyworm control, a massive implementation project that will ensure a strong and harmonized approach at national, regional, and global levels. The Global Action will be implemented in three FAO regions: Near East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific, with focus on three key strategic arenas (global coordination; pest management and control; and finally, prevention).

The IPPC Community will be playing a crucial role in implementing part of the Global Action for assuring that risk of further FAW introduction and spread to new areas is drastically reduced. To that end, the IPPC Secretariat is going to establish an IPPC/FAO FAW Technical working group and an IPPC FAW regional taskforce, which will involve three Regional Plant Protection Organizations (RPPOs) and over 20 countries from the Near East (NEPPO), Pacific (PPPO), and Southern Europe (EPPO) regions.

During the meeting, the IPPC Secretary briefed all the participants on the key activities and outcomes of the Global Action for the FAW control that relate to the IPPC mandate, which will mainly focus on:

  • Development of guidance on prevention of further spread of FAW and establishment of a FAW phytosanitary network;
  • Implementation of standards for inspection and surveillance through collaborative efforts; and
  • Regional and national training workshops and collaboration on prevention of FAW.

The RPPOs representatives will be provided with clear terms of reference according to which qualified experts will be selected in each region to be part of IPPC/FAO FAW Technical working group and the IPPC steering group to facilitate the global implementation of project on FAW related IPPC issues. All three RPPO representatives supported the initiative and pledged to participate in the global Action for FAW control.

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