At loggerheads over agroforestry

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Photo: pxhere

Everyone knows forests are home to a wealth of biodiversity, with the Amazon alone hosting a quarter of global biodiversity. It is also now well established that diversity in crop production increases a farmer’s resilience to environmental stresses and shocks – from extreme weather to pests.

In terms of ending poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation, agroforestry was positioned today at CFS44 as playing a crucial role in helping many countries meet key national development objectives epitomised under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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CABI argues for stronger links between rural advisory services and research, private sector and ICTs

Dr Kuhlmann speaking at the GLAST event

At a meeting of the world’s top agricultural scientists in China, CABI’s Executive Director for Global Operations, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, stressed the key role rural advisory services play in lifting agricultural communities out of poverty. As he pointed out, “Some of the most relevant and appropriate information isn’t high tech or innovative, but that doesn’t mean farmers know about it.”

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CPM11 kicks off at the FAO in Rome

Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI

Dr Rudy Rabbinge giving the keynote address ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

On Monday 04 April 2016, the 11th of session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) kicked off in Rome. The meeting began with opening remarks from Mr. Daniel Gustafson, FAO Deputy Director General of Operations, and a hearty welcome to the new IPPC Secretary, Mr. Jingyuan Xia.

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New FAO Report: Climate change and what it means for food systems

selling carrots in Wangige Market, Nairobi, Kenya
Wakulima Market, in downtown Nairobi, whole sale market for vegetables and fruits coming from smallholder farmers up-country. Its starts early in the morning, lorries are offloaded, customers buy and bring their goods to local supermarkets, smaller markets near residential areas and restaurants.  Photo: Sven Torfinn/PANOS

How will climate change impact the future of food production, trade and consumption, and most importantly, what do leading scientists recommend as an appropriate policy response? In a newly released book from FAO, cross-sectoral insights from scientists and economists put the picture of food and food security into perspective in a changing climate.

The findings through collaborative research cover over two decades of climate change effects on agriculture. These include case studies on key crops and commodities that exemplify broader food system trends, as well as new pest and diseases which have caused reduced crops productivity-  those same issues which programs like Plantwise work to address. One key message for policy makers: smallholder farmers in developing countries will be most affected, as the local and regional food systems they depend on are strained by increasingly variable and unpredictable weather. The challenges unearthed in this report could better position decision makers to direct resources for solutions to improve smallholder resilience- a fundamental goal which underpins global food and nutrition security for the majority of the world’s growing population.

View the official press release and download the report.

Old friends and new faces at CPM10

Blog  Commission on Phytosanitary Measurespost 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

Counting down to the 10th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures

Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland

CPM-10 will consider draft phytosanitary treatments for pests like coffee mealybug, Planococcus lilacinus (Peter A.C. Ooi/Tropical Press Sdn Bnd)
CPM-10 will consider draft phytosanitary treatments for pests like coffee mealybug, Planococcus lilacinus (Peter A.C. Ooi/Tropical Press Sdn Bnd)

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:

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:

Plenary at CPM-9 (photo by M Bateman)
Plenary at CPM-9 (photo by M. Bateman/CABI)

Going to the CPM for the first time? has information on how to prepare and participate: 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.