10 years ago the Coconut Rhinoceros beetle (CRB) was first discovered on the western Pacific island of Guam. Since then, these shoe-shine black, miniature invaders have spread to all parts of the island and are laying waste to the local coconut and oil palm population. The economy, culture and ecology of Guam and other Pacific islands are intrinsically linked to the native palm species such that the rhino beetle poses a major threat. The indigenous peoples of Guam have a long history of weaving palm fronds, an artistry that is now at risk due to the rhino beetle. These trees are a symbol of tropic paradise, a motif that drives Guam’s primary industry; tourism. Continue reading
For 350 international delegates and observers attending this week’s annual meeting of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), standards will be adopted on plant protection with far-reaching implications on livelihoods, food security and ecosystems back at home. Plantwise, a development cooperation programme led by CABI which works to improve livelihoods in 31 countries, convened representatives of national governments and international organisations on Thursday to address the impact of improved pest advice, and pest tracking, for the small-holder farmer. At the CPM side session representatives of the World Trade Organization, the International Seed Federation and Contracting Parties of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) discussed how Plantwise can support the National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPO) and contribute to the mission of the IPPC.
The Plantwise Knowledge Bank has now gone live! This central portal for collated global information on crop pests and diseases brings together international science and local material. It is targeted at providing knowledge to all users involved in plant health systems – from farmers on the ground, to researchers and academics, to governments and policy makers.
The most significant development for the Knowledge Bank since its launch as a prototype last year is that information can now be easily filtered by country. The country homepages display relevant information on local pests and their treatment.