Delegates from over twenty-six countries attended last Thursday’s side event jointly-hosted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat and the CABI-led Plantwise programme which served the goals common to both organizations: empowering countries to protect crops, thereby increasing food security.
The event on the evening of April 2ndat Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN headquarters brought together key plant health stakeholders of the IPPC there to attend the 9th Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM).
Agricultural officials from the governments of Sri Lanka, Uganda and Kenya stood and presented their own experiences of establishing and tapping into Plantwise resources to support their daily roles in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs). Back home, these presenters’ all work for the NPPOs whose activities cover a range of different plant health roles, including extension, research and phytosanitary quarantine.
Together with IPPC Information Coordinator Dave Nowell and Plantwise Programme Executive Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, these representatives shared examples of how plant clinics, the data being generated, and the Plantwise knowledge bank can support monitoring, reporting and reacting to pest problems in their countries.
“Plantwise has facilitated bringing together specialists of different sectors whose mandates address different aspects of plant health,” commented W.M.P.T. Bandara Deputy Director, Plant Protection Service and Plantwise National Coordinator in Sri Lanka. “This has immensely helped the farmers in solving their pest issues.”
Over fifty audience members listened first to updates by David Nowell and Dr Kuhlmann on the Plantwise and IPPC collaboration, working to help NPPOs better fulfil their obligations and meet their countries’ plant health goals. One initiative which exemplifies building new linkages to overcome trade and food security challenges was the first regional IPPC and Plantwise workshop which took place recently in Nairobi.
Attendees in Rome watched this short video highlighting the impact and benefits of the workshop for plant health stakeholders from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Also in attendance were representatives from several International organizations including FAO, the Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Plant Protection Organization, who view the new CABI and IPPC collaborations with interest, as there are shared goals and stakeholders in many countries.
Attendees posed questions to presenters on what it is like to perform the day-to-day role of national coordinator for Plantwise, how information from the plant clinic data translates into pest reporting, how countries develop sustainability of the activities, and also about the process for joining the 33 current Plantwise countries in the future.
Following from this side event and the success of the first joint workshop, IPPC and Plantwise will be planning a second workshop to be held in Accra, Ghana later this year.