This week we’ve been reporting from the 12th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures, which successfully drew to a close, having produced concrete tools to support plant protection through the adoption of 25 International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). Under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), the IPPC is recognized as the international standard setting body for plant health, and WTO members are encouraged to use these ISPMs to address phytosanitary concerns. When members apply these standards for plant protection, they are likely to be safe from legal challenge through a WTO dispute. A record number of ISPMs were submitted for consideration and adopted during the CPM, attesting to the continued demand for the development of standards.
The 12th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) featured a full day of talks covering a range of topics related to plant health. The day began with a session on the benefits (and also the challenges) of implementing the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs).
A talk given by the Executive Director of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association, Ron Campbell, compellingly documented the monetary and employment benefits of the export of Hass avocados for both the exporting country, Mexico, and the importing country, the USA. This case study detailed how implementing just under 20 key ISPMs had enabled avocado exporters from the Mexican state of Michoacán to gain access to US markets, first in the northern most states of the US and over time to the whole country. While implementation of these standards involved many steps and required significant effort, the benefits to both Mexico and the USA were thousands of jobs across the supply chain and billions of dollars in returns.
The 12th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures opened today in Incheon, Republic of Korea. This is significant as it is the first time that the event is being hosted outside of Rome by a member country of the International Plant Protection Convention. This year’s theme is “Plant Health and Trade Facilitation”, so this topic featured prominently during the opening remarks from Mr. Bong-Kyun Park, Commissioner of Animal and Plant Quarantine and Inspection (APQI), and in the keynote address by Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization. Other topics under discussion on the first day of the CPM included proposals for dealing with emerging pest issues requiring global action; for building strategic partnerships with interested stakeholders such as industry groups; and for an ambitious new Strategic Framework for 2020 – 2030.
Contributed by Roger Day, CABI
CPM10 has heard how the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) indulged in a little well-considered phytosanitary “future-casting” at its 2014 meeting. Challenged by the secretariat to think about what the IPPC might look like 20 years from now, members came up with over 60 points for reflection, grouped into 7 areas:
- Technology, innovation and data
- Resource mobilisation
- Advocacy and awareness through strong communication
- Implementation, participation and collaboration
- The IPPC as a centre of excellence and innovation
- The IPPC contribution to food security, environmental protection and economic prosperity
- Simplified regulatory environment for the complexities of future global trade
The CPM is frequently told that funding constraints limit activities, so it’s disappointing (if realistic) that the phyto-prophets don’t see this problem going away any time soon.
Looking a little less far into the future, 2020 could well be the very first International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). CPM enthusiastically endorsed the idea, so now the extensive planning has to begin, with details to be presented to CPM11.
And also with an eye to the future, plans are advancing for the development of an electronic phytosanitary certificate system, e-phyto. Despite some concerns over costs and cyber-security issues, many contracting parties are keen to get started, and a proposal has been submitted to the Standards and Trade Development Facility to fund the development work.
20 years ago the CPM’s forerunner, the Interim Commission, didn’t even exist. Could anyone then have foretold what CPM10 would be discussing?
Blog post by Roger Day, Deputy Regional Director (Development), CABI Africa.
As delegates gathered for the opening of the 10th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) at FAO in Rome, it was clear from the greetings and smiles, not to mention hugs and kisses, that many of them know each other well already. That’s probably a good thing. The International Plant Protection Convention aims to secure “common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products”, and good collaboration is based on mutual trust and understanding. Continue reading
Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland
The 10th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures is fast approaching (16 to 20 March), and papers related to many of the items that will be under discussion have been made available on the website of the International Plant Protection Convention: https://www.ippc.int/core-activities/governance/cpm.
For example, the draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures that will be presented to the CPM for adoption are now available. These draft standards cover topics such as the determination of fruit fly host status, phytosanitary treatments for a range of important quarantine pests such as mealybugs and fruit flies, and the international movement of growing media. Once adopted, these standards will be valuable new additions to the toolkits of those working in plant health. Following on deliberations from past CPMs, a recommendation to help address the risk of pests that can be moved with sea containers will also be under consideration.
The suggestion to make 2020 the International Year of Plant Health was an exciting idea that generated a lot of enthusiasm during last year’s CPM. This year’s CPM is being presented a concrete proposal which outlines the steps needed to make the International Year of Plant Health a reality.
The CPM will also provide an update on the recent Secretariat Enhancement Evlauation, the report of which was recently published on the IPPC website: https://www.ippc.int/en/publications/8074/.
Going to the CPM for the first time? Phytosanitary.info has information on how to prepare and participate: http://phytosanitary.info/information/participation-commission-phytosanitary-measures-cpm. Likewise, the UN Environmental Programme has extensive guides for negotiations within the frameworks of multilateral environmental agreements like the IPPC, e.g. the MEAs Negotiator’s Handbook, Guide For Negotiators of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Negotiating and Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs): a Manual for NGOs.
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. Continue reading