Global Workshops to Help Countries Implement Phytosanitary Standards

Mar, 13 Mar 2012, 01:00

Seven workshops have concluded in the Near East, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean and Anglo and Francophone Africa.

Since 2006, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat has worked together with National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and Regional Plant Protection Organizations to understand how countries are implementing International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), and the challenges they face.

The current focus is on the implementation of the phytosanitary standard, ISPM No. 6 “Guidelines for surveillance” and associated ISPMs. ISPM No. 6 describes an official process to collect and record data on plant pest occurrence or absence by survey, monitoring or other procedures. Through the Implementation Review and Support System (IRSS) of the IPPC, the phytosanitary community is now reviewing the successes and challenges of implementing ISPM No. 6. Recommendations will be made on how this phytosanitary standard can be more effectively implemented by all countries.

The objective of the review is to develop pragmatic proposals to improve the implementation of ISPM No. 6. The review is expected to identify specific areas where action can be taken to assist countries to improve national capacity in areas such as pest listing, identification of pest status, pest reporting, pest categorization, pest risk analyses and others.

How does it work? A series of workshops were held in different regions of the world. The IPPC has compiled data for each country on the implementation and challenges of the standards and it is now possible to understand the implementation issues in each country and to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

A total of 107 IPPC contracting parties contributed to respond to the IRSS surveys and/or participated in the regional workshops. Workshops have successfully been completed in the Near East, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa in 2012. The workshops were organized by the FAO Regional Offices, with the direct support of the FAO Plant Protection Officers in each region. The workshops were attended by NPPOs, Regional Plant Protection Organizations (RPPOs), and other Government officials. They met to discuss the issues relating to the surveillance of plant pests and to present and exchange their best practices.

The data and recommendations from the workshops, along with IRSS survey data will be analyzed by a global symposium to be hosted in the Asia region on surveillance for pests of plants. The Symposium will identify concrete actions as follow up, including the development of additional guidance such as manuals and training materials.

The main highlights identified by participants of the regional workshops include:

• It has given an excellent and representative view of ISPM No. 6 implementation in all the regions;

• It is evident that huge differences exist among countries in terms of available human, financial and material resources that inevitably affect the implementation of ISPM No. 6;

• The need for the preparation of case studies of best practices for the implementation of the ISPM No. 6, manuals, adequate training material and programmes that might help countries to develop their capacity in implementation of the ISPM No. 6 was emphasized;

• In the case of the Caribbean (report), participants emphasized the need for countries to be transparent with respect to declaration of the status of pests of quarantine importance and the results of the ISPM6 questionnaire could be used to develop funding proposals to cover the gaps identified for countries in the region;

• In the Asia and the Pacific (report) workshop, participants noted that the lists of technical resources could be an excellent opportunity for the exchange of ideas on training materials and operational manuals among APPPC countries;

• Major outcomes for the Eastern European (report) working included calls for improved coordination at the national and regional levels, between the public and private sector, and improved regulations, in particular those related to international trade;

• In the Africa region (report), it was noted that improvements in legislation and policy as well as a stronger push towards the creation and improvement of operational manuals would help towards improving surveillance systems in the region, and

• Latin America region (report), the joint and participatory analysis is the best way to address the assessment and generate proposals (in this case, on an ISPM). It is rewarding for both, the study it self and those who perform it. It complements and exceeds the static analysis of other assessment tools.

Further information: IPP

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Implementation and Facilitation