NSP - International Treaties, Conventions, Advisory Bodies

International treaties, conventions, commissions  and advisory bodies play a major role in international cooperation for plant production and protection, and so are an important element of AG and AGP's work.

The International Plant Protection Convention

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) sets standards (so called ISPMs) for the safe movement of plants and plant products to prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases internationally. Compliance with IPPC obligations  and ISPMs are a vital element in countries' ability to trade internationally and food security. These standards are important as they allow for the protection of  domestic consumers, producers and the environment from the risks of introduced pests, and help exporters demonstrate that their products are safe. The International Phytosanitary Portal contains all documentation relevant to the IPPC work programme, including adopted and proposed standards, and monitors national implementation of the convention. The FAO, including the IPPC secretariat, assists developing countries improve the capacity of their phytosanitary services so that they can implement the agreed standards and IPPC procedures.

The International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat is hosted by FAO as an Article XVI Body, within the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department (AG) and is associated with AGP's work.

The Rotterdam Convention

The Rotterdam Convention, jointly hosted by AGP and the UN Environment Programme Chemicals division, covers international trade in certain hazardous chemicals with the aim of protecting human health and the environment.  Pesticides represent one major category of traded hazardous chemicals.  The Convention also contributes to the environmentally sound use of these chemicals, with exchange of information about their characteristics, by providing for a national decision-making process on their import and export and by disseminating these decisions to Parties.

The Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues

AGP collaborates closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reduce risks from the use of pesticides, and particularly in the main advisory body of the international Codex Alimentarius Commission - the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR)  to recommend maximum residue levels in food and feed commodities and to provide guidance on the setting of Maximum Residue Limits, and the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Specifications (JMPS) to develop pesticide product quality parameters for regulatory and trade purposes. AGP's interest in JMPR is in reviewing pesticide use patterns (GAPs), data on the chemistry and composition of pesticides, environmental fate, metabolism in farm animals and crops, methods of analysis for pesticide residues and processing studies.  WHO experts are mainly involved in assessing associated toxicology data.

The FAO Commissions for Locust Control

The FAO Regional Commissions for Locust Control are a major international collaboration for the exchange of data regarding actual and potential locust upsurges between neighbouring countries.  It is facilitated by AGP, specifically the Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) programme on transboundary plant pests and diseases.

The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) with its Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITWG-PGR), and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT - PGRFA), are important bodies promoting the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources.  AGP's role is to provide technical expertise on aspects of plant production, and support international processes such as monitoring national implementation of the Global Plan of Action on PGRFA.

The International Rice Commission

The International Rice Commission, dating back to 1949, and currently with 62 members, aims to promote national and international action in matters relating to the production, conservation, distribution and consumption of rice.

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is an international agreement with the overall goal of supporting sustainable agriculture and global food security. The Treaty, which entered into force in 2004, allows governments, farmers, research institutes and agro-industries to work together by pooling their genetic resources and sharing the benefits derived from their use. The fair sharing of benefits arising from the use of these resources has for the first time been practically implemented at the international level through its Multilateral System and its Standard Material Transfer Agreement.

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