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Locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia

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The "Practical Guidelines on Pesticide Risk Reduction for Locust Control in Caucasus and Central Asia" are available! They were developed in the framework of the FAO multi-funded and interregional “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA).” More specifically, the preparation of the Guidelines was supported by the "Project for improvement of locust management" in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (GCP/INT/238/JPN) funded by Japan/Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). These Guidelines presents the risks of insecticide handling and use during locust control campaigns, as well as measures that can be taken to minimize those risks. The Guidelines relies on the international best practices as well as FAO experience in other geographical areas, taking into account the features of locust control in CCA. The Guidelines are authored by Mr Harold van der Valk, a renowned Environmental expert, and were peer-reviewed by Experts from FAO as well as from the beneficiary countries. They are available in five languages: Dari, English, Kyrgyz, Russian and Tajik.

Locust joint survey involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Russian Federation

09/05/2019
A locust joint survey involving Armenian, Azeri, Georgian and Russian Locust Experts was carried out in Kakheti, Georgia, on 7-10 May 2019. Such joint survey allowed Locust Experts from the four concerned countries to collect field data and evaluate the locust situation together. Conducting such field activity is very instrumental for exchanging information and experience as well as sharing best practice. It also contributes to the development of regional cooperation between countries and to building up a regional network of technical experts. This joint survey was organized by FAO thanks to a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Training-of-Trainers on locust management in Caucasus

28/02/2019
FAO has launched a Training-of-Trainers (ToT) on locust management to the benefit of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Russian Federation. The organization of two sub-regional sessions, on “Locust monitoring and information management, including the use of the Automated System for Data Collection (ASDC)” and on “Locust spraying and pesticide risk reduction, including ASDC”, respectively in late February and early March 2019 in Tbilisi, Georgia, allows training two Master-Trainers per country, based on the worldwide recognized best practices. The Master-Trainers will in turn deliver training sessions at the national level during the 2019 locust campaign, thus expanding the knowledge gained to other national experts. This ToT is organized by FAO thanks to a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
This Information Sheet on locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) presents a shared vision for the next future, as identified by CCA countries jointly with FAO. Indeed, with the critical challenge to ensure the sustainability of national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia, three main directions have been identified for the coming years: towards long-term regional cooperation on locusts – thanks to the identification of a sustainable regional mechanism; towards prevention and risk disaster approaches – through improved monitoring of locust population dynamics, allowing more accurate forecast and thus early warning and early reaction; and towards further strengthening of national capacities on locust management. The Information Sheet was produced by the FAO “Locusts and Transboundary Plant Pests and Diseases” Team (AGPMM), in the framework of the Food Chain Crisis (FFC)-Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES).
The last and tenth annual Workshop on Locusts in CCA was successfully held on 19-23 November 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to the benefit of the ten participating countries in the FAO “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)”. This workshop allowed discussing: lessons learnt from the 2018 national anti-locust campaigns and preparation of the next ones; implementation of the Programme in 2018 and the annual workplan for 2019; as well as a number of technical issues related to locust management, such as the latest developments regarding the Geographical Information System (GIS) entitled “Caucasus and Central Asia Locust Management System” (CCALM) and risk reduction associated with locust control operations. It also allowed addressing resource mobilization for the coming years of the Programme as well as a very important topic: the identification of a sustainable mechanism for long-term regional cooperation on locusts in CCA. This workshop was co-funded by the by Japan/Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Turkey (under the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme – FTPP) and FAO (under its Regular Programme).
This calendar provides some practical advices on safety measures to be adopted by local populations, farmers, shepherds, beekeepers and municipalities before, during and after locust control operations: as long as conventional chemical insecticides are used, precautions should be taken to minimize adverse effects on human health and the environment. Beyond English and Russian, the calendar is available in Farsi, Kyrgyz and Dari. It was despatched, mainly by the national services in charge of locust management, to local populations in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan during the 2018 locust campaigns. The calendar was realized by FAO with the financial support from Japan/ Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as well as FAO Regular Programme.
The Information Sheet on locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) provides an overview on the main results achieved by the “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in CCA” since its start. It also introduces the way forward to the Programme, based on common objectives for the coming years. Overall, the Programme relies to the key concepts of the locust preventive control strategy consisting of timely monitoring of locust habitats and populations; early warning and subsequent early reaction indeed lead to reduced damage on crops and rangelands, reduced negative impact of control operations on human health and the environment due to less use of chemicals and reduced costs. The Information Sheet was produced in the framework of the Food Chain Crisis (FFC)-Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES).