FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
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The Asia-Pacific Plant Protection Commission is committed to protecting plant, human and animal health and the environment, facilitating trade, and protecting the sustainability of agriculture.

The Commission provides a regional forum for cooperation and the full implementation of the Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific region. It assists in the development of measures for plant protection, including regional standards for phytosanitary measures (RSPMs), promotion of integrated pest management and the Code of Conduct for Distribution and Use of Pesticides.

Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC)

The Asia-Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC) convened for the first time in 1956. The Commission administers the Regional Plant Protection Agreement for Asia and the Pacific. It reviews the plant protection situation at the national level in member countries, and also at the regional level. Coordinating and promoting development of regional plant protection systems, assisting member countries to develop effective plant protection regimes, setting standards for phytosanitary measures, and facilitating information sharing are among its key objectives. A total of 25 countries are members and the APPPC meets at least once every two years.

Challenges and opportunities

Asia and the Pacific, with its wide variations in climate, has an extremely high degree of plant diversity. The region is home to tens of thousands of plant species, many of which are endemic. However, habitat fragmentation, over-harvesting of natural resources, pollution, invasive species and climate change are resulting in species loss and threatening this diversity.

Destruction caused by various pest species and overuse of pesticides is becoming increasingly serious. International trade in plant and plant products involves potential risks of reduction of plant productivity and destruction of natural ecosystems through the introduction and spread of invasive alien plant pests. Pest introductions and outbreaks cost governments, farmers and consumers billions of dollars every year.

The Commission is coordinating and supporting plant protection activities in the region with a strong information exchange programme, a regional standard development programme, inputs into international standard setting and regional pesticide programmes. It also takes a leadership role in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes and builds local capacities in member countries.

What APPPC does in the region

Plant quarantine

APPPC helps member countries analyze risks to their national plant resources and use science-based measures to safeguard their cultivated and wild plants. The Commission helps member countries improve their capacity for pest surveillance, pest risk analysis, pest risk management through systems approaches, and implementation of regional and international standards for phytosanitary measures. It helps with the management of outbreaks of invasive species to promote safe agricultural trade.

The APPPC facilitates information exchange networks among member countries through the APPPC website, which allows countries to share import and export requirements, pest reports, updated pest control programmes, and early warning of risks. The Commission helps countries develop plant health policy and regulations, and systems and practices to minimize the potential risk of the introduction and spread of regulated pests.

Integrated pest management

From small family farms to factory farms, the use of chemical pesticides is widespread throughout the Asia-Pacific region. These chemical pesticides can damage the environment, pose health risks to farmers and possibly lead to super-storms of chemical-resistant pests. The APPPC plays an important role in promoting integrated pest management, which is an ecologically based, environmentally safe method for farmers to protect their crops against pest and disease incursions without resorting to potentially dangerous chemicals.

The Commission advances the growing use and effectiveness of IPM across the region through Farmer Field Schools, FAO regional IPM programmes, collaborative research and capacity-building programmes for farmers, trainers and plant protection workers. It coordinates regional information sharing and agreements so that member countries can adopt IPM technologies that are appropriate for their situations.

Pesticide management

The abusive use of chemical pesticides carries potentially serious risks for the environment and human health. The APPPC works to ensure that production, trade and use of chemical pesticides are properly and effectively regulated in line with the FAO Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management and other international treaties, as well as to reduce the pesticide risks as much as possible.

The Commission is assisting members with ratification and implementation of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. Most member countries in the region have signed on to this convention. Joining the Convention involved assistance to develop regulations and infrastructure to implement the measures required to make pesticide use in member countries in the region as safe as possible.