The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) provide guidance that is broadly applicable for forest health, monitoring, the safe transfer of germplasm and trade in trees and forest products. In order to clarify how the ISPMs apply to forestry, the FAO has developed the Guide to the implementation of phytosanitary standards in forestry. The Guide provides simplified, easy-to-understand information on ISPMs and how forest management practices could play a role in implementing phytosanitary standards and facilitating safe trade. It does this by providing information on relevant concepts (e.g. phytosanitary certification, pest risk analysis, determination of pest status, surveillance, systems approaches) for use by those working outside of National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and in support of NPPO activities.
Work on the guide was initiated by the FAO Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division (FOM) in collaboration with a core group of international scientists, phytosanitary authorities and forest sector representatives as well as the IPPC Secretariat. Financial support for the development of the Guide was provided by the FAO-Finland Forestry Programme.
The Guide and the associated action plan for implementation of the Guide were received enthusiastically by the sixth session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM). Jens Unger, of the Julius Kuehn Institute for National and International Plant Health of Germany, expressed his appreciation for how the Guide brought together and addressed issues relating to plant quarantine and pest management in the field. Likewise, Dr Nevzat Birisik, Director of the Plant Protection Research Institute of Turkey, noted that up to now the relationship between the plant health and the forestry sectors has not been strong and that phytosanitary standards are mainly recognized and applied in the Plant Production sector by experts working with cultivated plants. He went on to add, “Distribution of this guide will be the starting point” for making a bridge between the two sectors. The CPM encouraged the IPPC Secretariat to undertake similar initiatives for other topics in order to promote understanding and interpretation of ISPMs in the broader community.
The Guide is now available online – click here to access the Guide.
Ultimately, the guide will be disseminated to a wide variety of stakeholders including forest sector personnel and related industries, forestry policy-makers, planners, managers and educators as well as NPPOs. Future actions for implementation of the guide will also include raising awareness of the issues and of the guide’s existence and value. A variety of stakeholders will be trained so that they are able to realize their potential to prevent the spread of forest pests.