logo IPPC
      FAQ            Log in

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is a 1951 multilateral treaty deposited with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that aims to secure coordinated, effective action to prevent and to control the introduction and spread of pests of plants and plant products. The Convention extends beyond the protection of cultivated plants to the protection of natural flora and plant products. It also takes into consideration both direct and indirect damage by pests, so it includes weeds.

The Convention created a governing body consisting of each party, known as the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), which oversees the implementation of the Convention. As of March 2017, the Convention has 183 parties, which includes 180 United Nations member states, the Cook Islands, Niue, and the European Union. The Convention is recognized by the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) as the only international standard setting body for plant health. While the IPPC's primary focus is on plants and plant products moving in international trade, the Convention also covers research materials, biological control organisms, germplasm banks, containment facilities, food aid, emergency aid and anything else that can act as a vector for the spread of plant pests – for example, containers, packaging materials, soil, vehicles, vessels and machinery.

The Commission of Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), governing body of the IPPC, agreed on the following strategic objectives:

  • protecting sustainable agriculture and enhancing global food security through the prevention of pest spread;
  • protecting the environment, forests and biodiversity from plant pests;
  • facilitating economic and trade development through the promotion of harmonized scientifically based phytosanitary measures, and
  • developing phytosanitary capacity for members to accomplish the preceding three objectives.

These IPPC strategic objectives primarily relate to the work under the FAO Strategic Objectives 2 (sustainable production) and 4 (trade facilitation).

Finally, the work of the IPPC is directly correlated to not just one, but several of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  1. Goal #1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. Goal #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Goal #8: Facilitating sustained economic growth.
  4. Goal #12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  5. Goal #13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
  6. Goal #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  7. Goal #17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, in particular, target 17.11: “Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020".

To get a better understanding of the Convention you can take our e-learning course “Introduction to the International Plant Protection Convention” created in collaboration with with UN Environment and made available on the InforMEA e-learning platform.