Use of the PCE as a tool to improve plant biosecurity in the Pacific region

Posted on Wed, 25 Aug 2010, 10:10

Taro root beetle (Papuana woodlarkiana) - photo by Amy Carmichael Queensland University of TechnologyThe Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) tool was developed by the IPPC Secretariat as a tool for use by countries to self assess their capacity to implement the Convention and the application of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). The use of the PCE by many countries has demonstrated that it is a valuable tool that allows countries to establish their own national strategic plan and priorities for phytosanitary capacity development.

Recently fourteen states in the Pacific Island Community (Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Niue, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Fiji, Palau, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia) have completed national phytosanitary capacity evaluations as a result of the Standards and Trade Development Facility - project STDF133 – "Capacity building in the use of the Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation Tool in the Pacific". Support was provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and technical assistance was provided by the IPPC Secretariat.

The national evaluations of the 14 countries yielded similar results: NPPOs had relatively strong import controls, inspection and clearance procedures for imports and were in a good position to take advantage of their geographic position to declare areas free of specific plant pests. However, the PCE results identified weaknesses with respect to legislative frameworks; limited export facilitation procedures and insufficient documentation of processes and procedures of the NPPO.

Based on the PCE results, the region has formulated recommendations for next steps and priorities (see the attached PDF). In the future, the SPC and development partners will be able to use the baseline data generated through the PCE to assess improvement and progress towards goals, ensuring targeted capacity development in the region.

It is worth noting that the STDF mandates that countries applying for phytosanitary support should refer to any relevant issues and priorities that were identified through the PCE. Countries that have not conducted the PCE may include this as an activity in their project proposals. A new English and Spanish “beta” version of the PCE tool has been developed and will be field tested over the next few of months. Once the tool has been finalized, it will be available through the IPP, thereby increasing the accessibility to the tool.

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