Global Body To Meet Over Plant Disease, Pandemic Concerns

The IPPC ePhyto Solution has allowed countries to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates and assured the safe trade of plants.
Representational image/ Flickr
Outlook Web Bureau Mar 15, 2021

Every year, up to 40 percent of global crop production - worth over $200 billion - is lost to plant pests. To address this issue, the 15th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) will hold a virtual meeting on March 16, March 18, and April 1.

CPM is the governing body of the Rome-based International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) which will deliberate online to adopt new standards to curb the spread of plant pests and review the state of plant health and protection worldwide.

India is among IPPC’s 184 contracting parties.

The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated how such protection is particularly crucial in an emergency. Although the last 14 months have jeopardized access to affordable and nutritious food, the IPPC ePhyto Solution has allowed countries to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates and assured the safe trade of plants.

The ePhyto Solution's long-term financial sustainability will be discussed at the 15th Session of CPM, which will also adopt:

  • The IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030, including new strategic objectives and a development agenda to advance global plant health over the next decade.
  • Eleven new standards, including new phytosanitary treatments for regulated pests, such as irradiation and cold treatments for the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), the Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) and the Peach fruit moth (Carposina sasakii).
  • A CPM Recommendation on Food Aid to encourage countries to prepare for managing the phytosanitary risks associated with the export and import of food and other humanitarian aid during an emergency.
  • A CPM Recommendation on Contaminating Pests to address pest risks associated with traded goods that are not regulated plants or plant products, including conveyances, containers, packaging, storage places, soil, and any other organism, object or material capable of harbouring or spreading plant pests.

The Commission will also review updates on the International Year of Plant Health 2020, which has been extended until July 1 due to Covid-19, and the progress towards the proclamation of an International Day of Plant Health in 2022.

Championed by the government of Zambia, the proposal of an International Day of Plant Health has been endorsed by the FAO Committee on Agriculture and the FAO Council in 2020.

The UN General Assembly is expected to validate it later this year.


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