The IPPC ePhyto Steering Group (ESG) met on 21st and 27th just pre-and post-the 3rd IPPC Global Symposium on ePhyto held from 22-26 January 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was chaired by the ESG Chair, Mr. Peter Neimanis, and opened by the IPPC Secretary, Mr Jingyuan Xia. The meeting was attended by all ESG members.
The main objectives and outcomes of the meeting on the 21st January were to review the agenda of the 3rd IPPC Global Symposium on ePhyto, to work out the details of the Symposium sessions for advancing understanding of the IPPC hub and the generic ePhyto national system (GeNS), and to develop national strategies for implementing the business process reengineering necessary to implement the solution. The ESG also met with the Hub country representatives to discuss their initial appraisal of the technical and business operation of the IPPC hub. The Hub countries reported that they had begun exchanging electronic certificates and that the process for connection was simple and effective. Some countries noted some challenges in communication and indicated that they would be proposing additional approaches for receiving information updates.
The main objectives and outcomes of the meeting on the 27th January were to review the Symposium results and its work plan. ESG members noted that Symposium participants had commented on the excellent technical and implementation information received during the symposium. In particular, the Symposium participants reported that they now had a much better understanding of how the IPPC hub operates following a demonstration of an exchange of electronic certificates between the United States and Argentina. ESG members also concluded on the need to expand the group’s work plan.
In term of the future work, ESG members proposed that the terms of reference of the ESG should be reviewed in response to the encouragement by the Symposium participants that there should be increased work on communication and advocacy of implementation supported by a longer strategic implementation plan. EST members noted the need for further technical work including development of greater harmonization of some elements of the electronic certificate. ESG members also considered the requests of African participants who had encouraged a regional workshop for African and Near East countries which are highly in need of increased awareness and technical knowledge transfer. The IPPC Secretariat agreed to work with African and Near East members to establish a regional workshop on ePhyto.
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