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IPPC Implementation and Capacity Development Committee concludes November 2023 Meeting

Posted on Wed, 13 Dec 2023, 11:45

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Rome, 13 December 2023. The Implementation and Capacity Development Committee (IC) met in Rome on 6-10 November to review the progress of 2023 activities including relevant outcomes from the Seventeenth Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-17) in March 2023. The Committee also discussed preparations for CPM-18 in April 2024 and defined the 2024 workplan of the Implementation and Facilitation Unit.

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat shared updates to the Committee on relevant outcomes from the CPM Bureau and Strategic Planning Group meetings held in October. Among the discussions were the global coordination for Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense TR4 and One Health.

In line with the Bureau and SPG discussions, the IC acknowledged the need for a strengthened involvement in One Health, as previously underlined by the CPM Bureau, and welcomed the recommendation, advanced by the SPG, to invite the IPPC Secretariat to the 8th One Health World Congress in September 2024.

The interactive tabletop simulation exercises on Fusarium TR4, the first of its kind developed by the IPPC Secretariat, successfully implemented during the 2023 IPPC Regional Workshop in Africa, was noted by the IC, with a request to revise the content of the tabletop simulation exercises by the dedicated IC Team on Fusarium TR 4. The revised tabletop simulation exercises will be available for other regions and IPPC contracting parties to implement and can be delivered by the IPPC Secretariat or an IPPC Secretariat trained trainer.

During the week-long meeting, the IC highlighted a number of IFU achievements in 2023, amongst which the transfer of responsibility for the ePhyto programme under IFU, the release of four new IPPC guides, the coordination of four IPPC regional workshops, the development of the interactive table-top simulation exercise on Fusarium TR4 and notably, the implementation of Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluations (PCE) in nine Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA ) countries and the complementation of PCEs in Cambodia and Senegal.

More specifically, the IC noted the steps forward on the PCE programme, in light of the PCE 2020-2030 Strategy with eleven PCEs being completed or underway in 2023, nine through the Strengthening Food Control and Phytosanitary Capacities and Governance (GCP/GLO/949/EC) project, in addition to a PCE in Senegal. Among the successful PCE is the completion of the one in Cambodia, through the South-South Cooperation IPPC China project, earlier this year. The IC also agreed that the PCE 2020-2030 Strategy may be further reviewed and strengthened in 2024, in light of the outcomes of an ongoing PCE desk-study and is expected to be completed by quarter 1, 2024. In addition, the PCE Terms and conditions, subject of consultation between the Secretariat and various FAO units (legal, copyright and data protection), were reviewed by the IC members and will be presented at CPM-18.

The IC acknowledged the four IPPC guides published in 2023 and promoted through a webinar in October. These guides include Emergency preparedness – A guide for developing contingency plans for outbreaks of quarantine pest; Prevention, preparedness and response guidelines for Fusarium Tropical Race 4 (TR4) of banana; Guide to regulation of wood packaging material – Understanding the phytosanitary requirements for the movement of wood packaging material in international trade; E-commerce – A guide to managing the pest risk posed by goods ordered online and distributed through postal and courier pathways. The list of the 2024 upcoming publications was noted by the members. As part of an update by the IPPC Secretariat on all Development Agenda Items, the IC was particularly enthusiastic about the recently publishing of the IPPC guide on e-Commerce and the accompanying video and communications plan which will be implemented from January 2024.

The discussion on communications extended to IFU’s 2023 Communication Plan which was welcomed with much appreciation from the IC with progress being noted on increasing awareness among national plant protection organisations (NPPOs) on specific ICD priority products and projects. To gather additional inputs, the IPPC Secretariat organized an interactive exercise, dividing the IC members into groups, aimed at collecting ideas on how to further improve communication on key ICD topics with NPPOs and RPPOs. The ideas shared are being evaluated and will be included in IFU’s 2024 communications plan.

The discussion on the revision of the IPPC Regional Workshop Guidelines benefitted from the participation of Osama El-Lissy, IPPC Secretary. The discussion, which was already raised during the IC May 2023 meeting, was strengthened by the results of the 2023 IPPC regional workshops evaluation survey. To ensure the robust consultation, the IC requested the secretariat to open the revised guidelines in the IPPC Online Comment System, inviting the 2023 IPPC Regional Workshops’ organizing committee members, the Bureau, Standards Committee, and the IC, as well as the IPPC Secretariat staff to submit their comments. Upon finalisation of the revision process, the IC invited the Bureau to note the revised Guidelines for IPPC Regional Workshops, to be presented to CPM-18 (2024).

As part of the discussion on the IPPC 2023 Call for Topics the IC agreed that an IC Team on Call for Topics would be created to help review and simplify the submission form for implementation materials and to develop a form for the IPPC Observatory topics. The Secretariat presented the updates on the List of Implementation and Capacity Development Topics (LOT), list which can be consulted here.

ICD topics to be presented at CPM-18 (2024), was endorsed by the IC, including IFU leading the organization of two CPM side sessions on e-commerce and on Fusarium TR4.

“Seeing all the significant progress on the projects and ICD products we’ve discussed this week I’m truly excited by the role of the implementation and capacity development committee in contributing to safeguarding plant health,” said Dominique Pelletier, IC chairperson.

“The quality of the IPPC guides published, the uptake of PCE by contracting parties, the convening role the IPPC Secretariat in the global discourse on emerging pests, and the active involvement of IC members in their respective regions, are just some examples of the hard work done by this team this year which I thank, on behalf of the IC and the wider phytosanitary community,” he concluded

For further details on the November IC meeting, the meeting report is now available here.

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