International Commission on Poplars and Other Fast-Growing Trees Sustaining People and the Environment
Newly-established poplar plantation with crops, Chile ©FAO/B. Heois

Working parties

IPC carries out its mandate by supporting research and management activities through six international, cross-disciplinary working parties dealing with:

(1) Taxonomy, nomenclature and registration;

(2) Domestication and conservation of genetic resources;

(3) Plant health, resilience to threats and climate change;

(4) Sustainable livelihoods, land use, products and bioenergy;

(5) Environmental and ecosystem services; and

(6) Policy, communication and outreach.

Members of the working parties meet in regular sessions or through 'virtual' networks to exchange ideas and develop proposals, which are then presented to Member Countries for adoption in formal sessions. It is the activities of the working parties that have progressed IPC's work in recent years.

Some of the major achievements of the working parties include:

  • Identification of existing outbreaks of insect pests or diseases and early warning of their potential spread;
  • Emphasis on the importance of quarantine and sanitary measures for the movement of plant material; 
  • Stressed the need for the conservation of native populations of poplars and willows in order to conserve genetic diversity as one basis for tree breeding;
  • Adoption of conventions for the protection of breeders' rights to facilitate the exchange of superior cultivars;
  • Promotion of poplars and willows for erosion control, phytoremediation, and sand dune stabilization;
  • Investigation of the suitability of poplars and willows for bioenergy;
  • Compilation of the comprehensive world monograph on poplars and willows, Poplars and willows: Trees for society and the environment. The book was published in February 2014.