Quarantine issues

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is an international treaty to secure action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. As of August 2011, 177 countries are contracting parties to the Convention. It is governed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM) which adopts International standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPM) in order to reduce phytosanitary risks.

FAO developed a tool to help foresters to deal with increasing threats posed by pest movement in expanded international trade coupled with local climatic change which may increase the potential for establishment of pests in new areas. The Guide to implementation of phytosanitary standards in forestry, prepared by a mutlistakeholder process, provides clear and concise guidance on forest health practices that will help to minimize pest presence and spread. Strengthening country capacity to implement the guide is a strong focus and an ongoing activity.

International standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPM)

Asian longhorned beetles, Anoplophora glabripennis (Photo: G. Allard)All standards are applicable to forestry but more specifically ISPM No. 15 gives guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in international trade.

An international workshop was held in Vancouver (28 Feb - 4 March 2005) to address issues surrounding implementation of ISPM No. 15: Wood Packaging Implementation Workshop. A discussion forum about ISPM No. 15 has been set up and frequently asked questions and answers have been summarized on the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group Web site.

For more information please visit the Regional Plant Protection Organization for Africa: the Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC); IAPSC info on IPPC Web site.

Pest Alerts

The EPPO Alert List underlines the possible risk of certain pests for EPPO member countries. These pests are often of global significance and the information is therefore relevant to all regions.

RISK: An example of an important pest from outside of Africa

  • Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB): This beetle is a serious pest in China where it kills hardwood trees in roadside plantings, shelterbelts, and plantations. It has been discovered attacking trees in the United States and eastern Canada. ALB probably travelled to the United States inside solid wood packing material. For more information on this pest, please visit the University of Vermont Entomology Research Laboratory.