Title :"Regional Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia"
Countries : Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Starting date : October 2011
Estimated budget : USD 7.8 million
Available budget : USD 3,1 million
Donors : USAID, Turkey, FAO (Regular Programme and Technical Cooperation Programme)
Implementation : Roadmap endorsed in October 2011
Following requests for assistance from Caucasian and Central Asian countries to improve locust management, a process was initiated by FAO in 2007 for assessing needs and launching a regional preventive approach.
During the recently-held Regional Consultation on Locust Management in Caucasus and Central Asia (27-30 October 2009, Almaty, Kazakhstan), the concerned countries agreed on a regional Programme for improving national and regional locust management. Its objectives and main strategic lines were defined and translated into results to be achieved. Related activities and inputs as well as the responsibilities of the various stakeholders were also discussed and agreed on.
The strategic objective is to reduce occurrence and intensity of locust outbreaks in Caucasus and Central Asia, thus limiting threat or damage to crops and rangelands and safeguarding rural population food security and livelihood, as well as minimizing impact on human health and the environment. The immediate objective is to improve national and regional locust management in ten countries of Caucasus, Central Asia and adjacent areas.
The programme includes the six main following results:
1) Regional cooperation on locust management
In Caucasus and Central Asia as well as in Afghanistan and in the Russian Federation, borders are situated across the locust permanent habitats and breeding areas. Consequently, only collaborative efforts from well-prepared countries can successfully deal with these migrant pests in an appropriate, environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. Regional cooperation should be based on: regular and timely exchange of information and experience; coordination for implementation of national survey and control plans; joint activities between countries such as cross-border operations; intra-regional assistance; harmonization of locust knowledge, practices and management, etc.
Update, improvement and harmonization of knowledge and practices can be achieved through: immediate regional and national training on locust bio-ecology, locust monitoring, control techniques, human health and the environment, etc.; provision of background documentation and literature; post-graduate formation; and support to applied research.
It is important to take advantage of the existing situation (for instance of the theoretical, operational and field knowledge present in CCA) to disseminate, harmonize and update competencies and technologies; organize related training; produce scientific and extension material; and encourage research.
3) Better anticipation and mitigation of locust issues and disasters
Better anticipation and mitigation of locust issues and disasters include appropriate locust monitoring resulting in early warning and early reaction; joint cross-border surveys; development of geographical information system (GIS) compatible at regional level, for better data storage and analysis; improved forecast; and preparedness for locust campaigns thanks to national and regional contingency plans.
4) Improved response mechanisms to locust outbreaks
Response to locust outbreaks will be improved through early reaction and through appropriate and timely control operations carried out using updated and efficient spraying techniques and less environmentally hazardous pesticides and formulations. It also implies adequate pesticide management, including registration aspects, and enhanced public-private partnership.
5) Mitigation and monitoring of impact on human health and the environment
Special emphasis must be given to this cross-cutting issue. Mitigation of impact of locust spraying operations will be achieved through suitable, increased and updated information delivered to all staff involved in control operations for adoption and implementation of appropriate measures before, during and after treatments. Monitoring must also be ensured through impact assessment of control operations on human health and non-target organisms.
6) Public information and awareness raising
Public information and awareness raising concern all stakeholders. It is crucial to inform and educate local populations so that they react to locust presence and abundance, alert plant protection services and adopt the required safety measures before, during and after treatments for themselves, their cattle and their crops. Visibility of locust situations and management in CCA, with focus on transboundary nature of the pests, should also be enhanced to the benefit of the locust-affected countries and all other partners and interested parties, with clear indication of the donors supporting the approach.
Required budget (USD7.8 million)
The regional Programme is being submitted to donors and other partners for funding.