Food Coalition

Phytosanitary approaches for sustainable and resilient food systems: facilitating safe trade by preventing the introduction and spread of plant pests

The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the risks related to delays or potential downfall of the phytosanitary capacity at the national level. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many human activities while underlining the importance of sound food systems at the national and international level. National phytosanitary services had to adapt quickly while exposing their staff to higher risks of contagion because measures such as lockdowns did not stop plant pests and diseases from spreading. All staff involved in plant health activities did not halt their inspection activities to ensure continuity, particularly in agriculture, to avoid additional constraints on plant and plant product exports. The necessity to ensure continuity to phytosanitary services exposed them to new sanitary risks.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant disruption of many value chains, generating major concerns for consignments of perishable goods, such as plants and plant products. The Bureau of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM Bureau) and the IPPC Secretariat developed a COVID-19 page on the International Phytosanitary Portal (IPP - with the most up-to-date information and official document collection on the COVID-19 pandemic effects on phytosanitary activities, in view of mitigating its dreadful effects. The IPPC community reacted promptly to the global sanitary crisis and held virtual meetings amongst all its contracting parties (CPs) aiming to assess the preliminary impacts of COVID-19, noting negative impacts for both developing and developed countries, including food loss and food security.

The IPPC Secretariat noted the key role of some core functions of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the need to reinforce them to strengthen the phytosanitary security at the national and international level. The main activities to address will articulate on three main areas of work:

I.  facilitating dialogue amongst the IPPC contracting parties through the organization of regional workshops, with focus on innovation and adoption of digital technologies in phytosanitary activities;

II. ensuring continuity to the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) achievements and its legacies, particularly the establishment of the International Day of Plant Health, amongst other activities; and 

III. promoting collaborative tools to share relevant phytosanitary information amongst IPPC contracting parties (CPs) and all relevant stakeholders.

This initiative is essential to continue raising awareness about the central role of plant health amongst all involved stakeholders while promoting effective, collaborative and inclusive ways to strengthen the phytosanitary security at the national, regional and international level. The proposed actions aim to implementing and achieving this project harmoniously and coherently, minimising the risk of duplication of existing initiatives. The IPPC Secretariat, particularly the Integration and Support Team, will lead the coordinated implementation of this project in alignment with the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020 – 2030 and its development agenda.

The expected outcomes will be assessed against ad hoc and commonly used indicators, together with a precise monitoring system allowing detailed and scheduled revision of implementation status. The IPPC Secretariat may set up additional systems for monitoring and evaluation as deemed necessary.

Priority Areas of work: Trade and Food Safety Standards
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, 13. Climate Action, 15. Life on Land, 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Level: Global
Budget: USD 1 million

Action Sheet:  CB3263EN_Trade_IPPC.pdf

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