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FAO Project (2009-11)

In February 2009, FAO approved the regional project TCP/INT/3202 (D) “Improving management of migratory and other locusts in the Caucasus and Central Asia”, which concerns the nine following countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The objective of this two-year project (February 2009 - March 2011) is to launch cooperation and start improving national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia. It is inspired by the EMPRES approach, which promotes preventive control in order to reduce occurrence and intensity of locust outbreaks and prevent their development into upsurges.

Project TCP/INT/3202 (D) focuses on three main parts, as presented below, together with related activities:

PART I – LAUNCH REGIONAL PREVENTIVE APPROACH

1. Assessment of locust situations and management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)

- Collection of information through questionnaires and round-trip visits to countries (second half of 2008 and early 2009, funded both by the FAO Regular Programme and USAID).

- Preparation and issuance of the " Analytical Report on Locust Situations and Management in Caucasus and Central Asia " (August 2009), which puts emphasis on common features, constraints and challenges (especially in border areas); presents countries’ related needs and expectations; and formulates recommendations to improve locust management and to develop a regional preventive approach for better locust management in CCA.

2. Discussion with all countries on ways and modalities for regional cooperation

The " Regional Consultation on Locust Management in Caucasus and Central Asia " was held to that end (October 2009, Almaty, Kazakhstan).

The main output was the  agreement of all present countries on a Five-year Programme to improve national and regional locust management in CCA, as described in t he Report of the Regional Consultation.


3. Promote and implement long-term regional cooperation

The Five-year Programme , whose objective is to contribute to safeguarding food security and livelihood of rural populations by limiting threat or damage to crops and rangelands through reduction of occurrence and intensity of locust outbreaks, in the respect of human health and the environment, is being submitted to donors and other partners for comments and funding. Multilateral and bilateral meetings and exchanges are taking place in this regard.

PART II – START IMMEDIATE TECHNICAL COOPERATION

1. Regular exchange of standardized data

A number of tools were adopted and are currently used to allow regional information exchange and thus enhance monitoring and management of locust issues in CCA, as follows: 

  • Standardized survey and spray monitoring forms , which were discussed and adopted by countries during the Regional Consultation (October 2009) for use at national level, from spring 2010 onwards.
  • National monthly bulletins , whose template was discussed and adopted by countries during the Regional Consultation (October 2009). These bulletins are prepared by countries and shared with FAO since the beginning of the 2010 locust campaign (March).
  • Regional monthly bulletins have been issued by FAO from the beginning of the 2010 locust campaign (first one dated 15th April and reporting on March).
  • Website “Locust Watch in Caucasus and Central Asia" , which was presented to countries during the Regional Consultation. It was published in January 2010 and is maintained by FAO and incremented on a regular basis, including with regional monthly bulletins as well as information or material provided by countries .

2. Exchange of experience and update of knowledge

A " Regional technical workshop on Locust Control " was held on 18-22 October 2010 , in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The main outputs of the Technical Workshop are as follows:

  • Further strengthening of regional cooperation and exchange of experience;
  • Locust control capacities strengthened, with focus on pesticides more friendly for human health and the environment, bio-pesticides and ULV spraying technology;
  • Decision of the three Caucasian countries to support and to coordinate joint activities and control operations;
  • Decision of the three Caucasian countries to adopt the ULV technology for controlling locusts and to hold a joint training in 2011, organized by Georgia taking advantage of the knowledge gained in the training conducted in summer 2010 in the framework of the FAO emergency project;
  • The pledge made by the Russian Federation to contribute USD 1 to 2 million in support of FAO activities.

PART III - PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Technical assistance is provided to assess locust situation in project beneficiary countries having requested specific assistance or facing a critical situation.

1. Following a request for assistance made by Georgia , a mission was carried out in April 2010 by the FAO Locust Officer to assess the spring locust situation and provide on-the-spot training. During the field surveys, an unprecedented Moroccan Locust infestation was detected on more than 20,000 hectares in the south-eastern part of the country, along the Azeri border. As the national resources were not sufficient to respond to this unpredictable emergency situation, the Government addressed an official request to FAO for emergency assistance. In this context, an emergency project was prepared and submitted by FAO to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). It was approved on 11 June 2010 and implemented during summer 2010. In that framework, an international consultant, specialist in spraying techniques, carried out a three-week mission in Georgia, from 15 July to 6 August, to monitor the use of pesticides, sprayers and other equipment provided by the project and deliver related training.

The development of such infestations at the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan underlines once again the need for improving regional locust management and for better anticipation of locust outbreaks.

2. Following the request formulated by Uzbekistan , a two-week mission was carried out by the FAO Locust Expert, in August 2010. The purpose was to assess the Asian Migratory Locust and the Italian Locust situations in two areas, Aral Sea and Lake Aydarkul, through field visits and analysis of satellite imagery. It will allow (a) establishing forecast concerning the development of the locust populations in habitats submitted to water fluctuations and (b) contributing to a better knowledge of the bio-ecology of these two species in their specific habitats.

Detailed information on project implementation can be found here .

Reg. Consultation, Almaty, October 2009
Technical Workshop, Dushanbe, October 2010

Documents

Report Technical Workshop on locust control, Dushanbe, Oct.10

Report Regional Consultation, Almaty, Oct.09

Analytical Report on Locusts in CCA (Aug. 09)

Questionnaire 2008

More about implementation...

TCP/INT/3202- Project document