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Locust Watch
Locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia

Activities

Italian, Moroccan and Asian Migratory Locusts are the most serious threat on agriculture in Caucasus and Central Asia, which can cause severe damage at agricultural, economic and social levels. In these regions, borders are located across the traditional locust habitats and breeding areas. For this reason and because of their migratory nature, locusts frequently cross countries' political borders during their back and forth movements as well as swarm flights. Due to their bio-ecological characteristics (adaptability, flexibility and reactivity), locust species can become even more dangerous in the context of exceptional weather events associated to climate.

Locust management relies on the preventive control strategy. This strategy consists in appropriate monitoring of locust populations at key periods of their development (thanks to field data collected during locust surveys and their timely analysis) and therefore allows early warning and early reaction, thus contributing to reduce the occurrence and intensity of locust outbreaks, prevent their development into major upsurges and avoid or limit locust negative impact on food security. Adequate and timely control operations, carried out with updated and efficient spraying techniques using less environmentally hazardous pesticides and formulations, are also key for successful locust management, including with a view to minimize impact on human health and the environment. In addition, regional cooperation is not only a crucial aspect but also a prerequisite for the successful management of such transboundary pests.

In addition to the conduct of the annual locust campaigns by CCA countries, a number of activities aiming at strenghtening national capacities and developing regional cooperation are carried out in the framework of the FAO "Programme to improve nationa and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)". Such activities are part of the annual workplans, which are discussed and agreed upon by the CCA countries during the annual workshops, based on technical needs as well as available funds (i.e. ongoing projects). The annual workplan, as well as the summary of the activities carried out during the past campaign, are available in the report of the annual Technical Workshop on Locusts in CCA.