Chong-yao Shen, Executive Secretary of APPPC reported on activities of the secretariat and working groups since the twenty-first session of the commission.
(i) Present status of the Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region
The Director-General of FAO received a letter from the Portuguese Republic government as well as from the Chinese government indicating that, in accordance with the joint declaration of the government of the Peoples Republic of China and the government of the Portuguese Republic on the question of Macao, the government of the Peoples Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Macao with effect from 20 December 1999. Thus the government of the Peoples Republic of China would assume responsibility for the international rights and obligations arising from application of the Agreement and its amendments. This means there are now twenty-four (24) countries party to the Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region.
Some FAO member countries in the region, for example, Bhutan, Maldives, Japan and also USA and one non-FAO member country - Singapore - have shown interest in becoming parties to the agreement.
(ii) Implementation of the revision of Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region
The main priority of the 2000-2001 APPPC work plan was the implementation of the revision of Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region. During the 21st session of the APPPC, several delegates indicated that, while they were in general agreement with the contents of the resolution, they would need to consult with their governments, and in particular, their legal advisers, before they could give their full commitment to the resolution. (see pages 27-28 of the report of the 21st session of APPPC, RAP publication 1999/44). The commission, therefore decided by consensus, to adopt that resolution subject to country communications to the secretariat of the commission by 16 August 1999. Five communications were received by the APPPC secretariat by the end of August 1999, all of them indicating acceptance of the resolution. The text of the communications is listed on page 26 of the report of the 21st session of APPPC, RAP publication 1999/44.
At the hundred and seventeenth (117) session in November 1999, the FAO council approved the amendments of Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region.
The Director-General of FAO, through the Legal Office, sent a letter titled Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region, transmittal of certified true copies of the first set of amendments approved by FAO Council in November 1999 to all APPPC members on 19 June 2000. Until now, Viet Nam is the only member of the commission that has officially submitted the Instrument of Acceptance to the FAO Legal Office. However, APPPC secretariat received positive replies from China, India, Korea DPR, Malaysia, New Zealand and Philippines.
A working group on SALB was established and chaired by Malaysia. One meeting was organized in Hainan, China, in October 1999. Follow up action was focussed on the development of a technical cooperation project (TCP) for pest risk analysis for SALB of rubber. According to the request of the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, one TCP project was approved by FAO in July 2001. FAO will contribute US$ 131 000 to support Pest Risk Analysis for South American Leaf Blight of Rubber (TCP/RAS/0168A).
An APPPC working group meeting on regional phytosanitary standard setting was organized from 17 to 19 July 2001, at the FAO regional office in Bangkok. The working group made several recommendations to the commission as follows:
Besides SALB standards, consider the subjects for priority standards including the four most important and select two subjects for the development of standards in the next two years
Adopt the standard setting procedures for the APPPC regional standard setting system
Establish an APPPC standards committee adopting the terms of reference and rules of procedures
Adopt other procedural requirements for the standard setting system
Explore possibilities of gaining additional financial resources for the development of the APPPC regional standard programme
(iii) Development of the integrated pest management (IPM) programme in the region
Twelve APPPC member countries are actively participating in the development of the FAO programme for community IPM in Asia. A programme advisory committee (PAC) meeting will be held in Thailand in November 2001. A foundation may be established to continue supporting IPM activities in this region.
The FAO-EU IPM programme for cotton in Asia officially started in October 1999. The European Union contributed US 12 million to support this project. Six APPPC member countries have joined this project. The office of this regional project is at the FAO regional office in Bangkok.
The Intercountry programme for IPM in vegetable in South and Southeast Asia started in 1995. The first phase extended to seven APPPC member countries. However, it will be terminated at the end of this year. FAO seeks donor countries to continue supporting a second phase of the project. In principle, Australia agrees to co-finance the second phase.
According to the recommendations of the 20th session of the APPPC, the IPM newsletters are published by the Community IPM and a web-site is also established to support information sharing activities among APPPC countries.
(iv) Implementation of the Rotterdam Convention on the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticide in international trade
An awareness workshop on inventories of obsolete, unwanted and banned pesticides stocks was organized on 25 May 2000 at the FAO regional office in Bangkok. Fifty participants including nine industrial companies attended this workshop. Based on the countries survey, the first regional workshop on inventories of obsolete, unwanted and banned pesticide stocks was held from 5 to 8 June 2001 at the FAO regional office in Bangkok. Eighteen APPPC member countries sent participants to attend this regional workshop. The workshop recommendations were sent to member countries for follow up action. The APPPC secretariat has also monitored existing pesticide policies and the implementation of conditions of the FAO code of conduct in countries where IPM projects are in place or planned.
(v) Participation in the second and third Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM), held in Rome, FAO HQs in November 1999 and in April 2001, respectively
The APPPC was well represented by 14 member countries at the second and third ICPM. A total of six international standards and additions to the glossary were endorsed during the two meetings.
The second ICPM meeting carefully considered its input into technical assistance. The secretariat outlined its involvement in technical assistance for developing countries. This included the direct participation of the secretariat in workshops; the provision of technical oversight and inputs into the FAO technical cooperation programme; and the identification of specific technical assistance needs.
The Chairperson presented a report on a pilot project by New Zealand designed to identify the capabilities and specific areas of need in phytosanitary systems of developing countries. The second ICPM strongly endorsed the New Zealand project and requested pilot studies in other regions. Several members indicated that more resources should be provided by both FAO and trust funds for technical assistance to enable countries to participate fully in international trade.
A long discussion was held in the third ICPM for the composition of the formation of a Standard Committee (SC), in particular geographical representation. It concluded that the SC consists of 20 members. Three members from each FAO region (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East and South West Pacific) and the North America region with 2 members.
The ICPM was informed by the secretariat that the new revised text of IPPC approved by FAO Conference at its 29th session in November 1997 had now been accepted by twenty one contracting parties. Of these four countries - Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea - are from the Asia and Pacific region.
The third ICPM elected a new bureau:
Felepe Canale, Uruguay
John Hedley, New Zealand
Ralf Lopian, Finland
(vi) Participation in the 11th and 12th technical consultation among regional plant protection organizations (RPPOs), held in Rome, FAO HQs in September 1999 and in San Diego, USA in October 2000, respectively
The 11th technical consultation among RPPOs was held from 30 September to 1 October 1999 in Rome, FAO HQs. Participants from APPPC member countries including Australia, Bangladesh, India, Rep. of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand attended the consultation.
Four papers were reported and discussed during the technical consultation:
(1) Guidelines for recognition of RPPOs;
(2) Procedures for cooperation between RPPOs and the IPPC Secretariat;
(3) Reporting obligation of EPPO members;
(4) Rules of procedures for RPPOs attending SPS Committee meeting.
Main action points of the 11th technical consultation were:
(1) RPPO is to deposit Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM) with IPPC Secretariat, and identify RSPMs for priority consideration ISPM with ICPM;
(2) RPPOs is to urge adherence/acceptance of revised IPPC;
(3) FAO and APPPC are to complete the revision of the Agreement and encourage the acceptance, also to complete the PRA and develop the Regional Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM) for SALB of rubber;
(4) RPPOs are to offer contribution to NAPPO Methyl Bromide meeting and attend if possible. NAPPO is to distribute report/conventions to RPPO for their members.
The 12th technical consultation among RPPOs was held from 11 to 13 October 2000 in San Diego, U.S.A. Participants from APPPC member countries including Bangladesh, China, Rep. of Korea, New Zealand, and Philippines attended the consultation. The Executive Secretary of APPPC presented a paper titled Revision of the Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific Region during the meeting. IPPC Secretariat presented a report regarding information exchange. FAO is proposing to develop an electronic clearing-house (on the worldwide web) through which IPPC contracting parties could publish the information which they are obliged to report. After some discussion, the technical consultation concluded that the capacities of different RPPOs for contribution to information exchange under Article VIII of IPPC were very different. It was not possible at present for the RPPOs to put themselves forward as components of the ICPM information system. However, the ICPM should be invited to consider a possible future role of RPPOs in information exchange.
The consultation accepted the invitation by APPPC and New Zealand that the 13th technical consultation will be held in Auckland, New Zealand from 29 to 31 October 2001.
The session endorsed the Executive Secretarys report.