Historical background

The African Forest Pest Management Network was created in April 1995 during a workshop held in Kenya, organized by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), in collaboration with the International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC) and FAO, and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and FAO. See Workshop proceedings.

Participants came from Kenya (KEFRI, Forest Department, International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), CABI, Kenyatta University, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)), Uganda (Forestry Resources Research Institute FORRI), United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania Forest Research Institute (TAFORI)), Malawi (Forestry Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM)), South Africa (TPCP; PPRI), Zambia (DFR), Ethiopia (Forest Research Center), the Sudan (Forests National Corp). See Participants list.

Three objectives were discussed and agreed for the initial network:

  • Reduce the damage to trees, forests, and forest products by pest contained within economically, socially and environmentally acceptable levels.
  • Contribute to effective and sustainable forest pest management.
  • Work as a regional coordination mechanism for pest management.

A second workshop was held in Nairobi in October 1996, to review progress in the management of important tree pests in the east, central and southern Africa region. The workshop reviewed work on the control of cypress aphid, pine woolly aphid, leucaena psyllid and other pests (Eucalyptus and Grevillea borers). The meeting then developed action plans for each of the countries represented. See list of participants.

The meeting also developed a charter (Memorandum) for the running and operations of the Tree Pest Management Network for Central East and Southern Africa. It was agreed that the secretariat would be at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, with CAB International providing technical support. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service agreed to provide support to the Network. A tree pest management newsletter was produced in May 2002 by the Network Secretariat.

The Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa (FISNA) was created during a Task Force Meeting held in Zomba, Malawi from 13-15 December 2004. Seven African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia) were represented and the 14 members successfully defined objectives and activities of the Network. See the Workshop report.

This meeting was jointly organized by the Forest Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM) and FAO as the result of serious concerns by a team of African forest protection scientists to revitalize the Tree Pest Management Network for Central, Eastern and Southern Africa to ensure that it is updated to cater for the current needs of Africa.

In line with current forest health issues and increasing problems with invasive species, including insects, diseases and woody species, the existing network has therefore been renamed the Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa (FISNA) and the mandate and objectives have been updated.