IPC carries out its mandate by supporting research and management activities through six international, cross-disciplinary working parties dealing with
(1) Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Registration;
(2) Domestication and Conservation of Genetic Resources
(3) Plant Health, Resilience to Threats and Climate Change
(4) Sustainable Livelihoods, Land-use, Products and Bioenergy
(5) Environmental and Ecosystem Services, and
(6) Policy, Communication and Outreach (under construction)
Members of the working parties meet in regular sessions or through "virtual" networks to exchange ideas and develop proposals, which are then presented to member countries for adoption in formal sessions. It is the activities of the working parties that have formed the basis for progress of the IPC in recent years.
Some of the major achievements of the working parties have included:
- identification of existing outbreaks of insect pests or diseases and early warning of their potential spread;
- emphasizing the importance of quarantine and sanitary measures for the movement of plant material;
- stressing the need for the conservation of native populations of poplars and willows in order to conserve genetic diversity as one basis for tree breeding;
- adoption of conventions for the protection of breeder's rights to facilitate the exchange of superior cultivars;
- promoting poplars and willows for erosion control, phytoremediation, and sand dune stabilization;
- investigating the suitability of poplars and willows for bioenergy
- the compilation of a comprehensive world-monograph on poplars and willows. The book was published in February 2014.