Locust Watch
Locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia

News

Calendars on safety measures associated with locust control

20/01/2022

Calendars for the year 2022 are being made available to rural populations living in locust-affected areas of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. They deliver practical messages on safety measures to be adopted by local populations, farmers, shepherds, beekeepers and municipalities before, during and after locust control operations: whenever conventional chemical are used, precautions should indeed be taken to minimize adverse effects on human health and the environment. Adapted to the specific context of each country and produced in vernacular languages, they will be dispatched by the national services in charge of locust management to local populations during the locust campaign. Similar calendars had already being prepared in 2018 to the benefit of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Such awareness raising material is realized by FAO with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Locust Programme in CCA has turned 10 years!

09/12/2021

It is the 10th anniversary of the interregional FAO “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)”, which was launched in October 2011 to the benefit of ten countries. Congratulations to all stakeholders! Thanks to tremendous and continuous efforts, many achievements have been reached over this period. They include the establishment of the regional technical network on locusts in CCA, the strengthening of national capacities in all-locust related areas, the introduction of the innovative Automated System of Data Collection (ASDC), creation of a highly-specialized Geographical Information System (GIS) entitled “Caucasus and Central Asia Locust Management System (CCALM)” and a much higher attention paid to pesticide risk reduction and human health and environmental aspects. This would not have been possible without the outstanding support of resource partners, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme (FTPP) and the contribution of FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and its Regular Programme. Some key directions for the coming years are to agree on an institutional mechanism to sustainable long-term regional cooperation, to support the implementation of the locust preventive strategy and to continue strengthening national capacities to improve locust management. Best wishes to Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in this regard!

Second Project Steering Committee of the JICA-funded locust project for Central Asia

06/12/2021

The second Project Steering Committee (PSC) of the “Project to improve locust management (Phase 2)” in Central Asia” project was held on 7 December 2021. It gathered the representatives of the six beneficiary countries, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as from the resource partner, i.e. from the Japan Embassy in Tajikistan and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and from FAO. As the project operationally started in November 2020, the PSC allowed reviewing the successful implementation of the project during the first year. It also allows allowed discussing and endorsing the workplan for the project second year, covering the 2022 locust campaign. With a large financial contribution of USD 7.5 million, the project support regional cooperation as well as strengthening of medium to long-term national capacities with a view to prevent and limit the threats posed by locusts and damage to crops and rangelands and thus to contribute to food security and livelihoods in Central Asia.

Watch out: the annual Technical Workshop on Locusts in CCA is being held online on 23-25 November 2021!

22/11/2021

The Technical Workshop on Locusts in CCA is being held online on 23-25 November 2021. It gathers the participating countries in the FAO “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)”, as well as the Programme current resource partners -the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- as observers. The workshop allows discussing: lessons learnt from the 2021 national anti-locust campaigns and preparation of the next ones; implementation of the Programme in 2021 and work plan for 2022; the latest developments regarding the Geographic Information System (GIS) entitled “Caucasus and Central Asia Locust Management System” (CCALM); risk reduction associated with locust control operations; as well as new projects and resource mobilization. In addition, it will allow celebrating the 10 years of successful implementation of the Locust Programme in CCA!

Towards the creation of an FAO Commission on locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)?

22/09/2021

Bilateral meetings are being held, during the second half of September 2021, between FAO and the countries participating in the FAO Locust Programme in CCA, with the objective to discuss the creation of a permanent body on locusts in CCA. Indeed, while the Programme seeks to improve national and regional locust management, relying on regional cooperation and prevention, it is acknowledged that only a permanent regional body can guarantee the sustainability of such approach in the long-term, beyond programmes and projects depending on external contributions. The idea to create an FAO Commission on locusts in CCA is not new as the first attempt to formalize regional cooperation dates back to 2000. It has been a recurring question since then and it was discussed several times during the annual Workshops held in the framework of the Programme. Such bilateral meetings take place in this context. The expected output is that countries officially express their preferences regarding the creation of such permanent body. See also Factsheet on establishing an FAO Commission on locusts in CCA.

E-Committee on CCALM

30/07/2021

On 28 July, Experts from Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries met for highly technical discussions on the improvement of the Geographical Information System (GIS) “Caucasus and Central Asia Locust Management System” (CCALM), and more specifically on the algorithms to be used for data analysis and locust forecast. CCALM was created in 2017 to contribute to early warning and prevention of locusts in CCA. It is fed by the field data collected by scouts and control staff using to the Automated System for Data Collection (ASDC) as well as other data sources. CCALM is being introduced to an increasing number of CCA countries and tested during locust campaigns. This is possible thanks to the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Support to the automated collection of field data on locusts

29/06/2021

The Automated System for Data Collection (ASDC) was created to facilitate collection of locust information by scouts and control staff. Such information is transmitted, in real time, to the Geographical Information System (GIS) “Caucasus and Central Asia Locust Management System” (CCALM), together with other data, with the objective to allow data analysis and improve forecast. To enable this process, tablets are currently being procured for a number of Caucasus and Central Asian countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This is possible thanks to the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).

Posters on Italian and Moroccan Locusts: extension material for staff

19/04/2021

Two posters, presenting the biology, ecology and monitoring of the Italian and Moroccan Locusts, have been published in Kyrgyz and in Russian and printed to the attention of technical staff in Kyrgyzstan. Similar posters are under preparation, adjusted for the specific context of each country and translated into national languages, in close liaison with the national entities in charge of locust management. This activity is supported by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Regional Workshop on locust data collection, analysis, forecast and reporting in CCA held in March 2021

22/03/2021

On 16-18 March 2021, the second annual regional Workshop on locust data collection, analysis, forecast and reporting in CCA took place online with the participation of nine countries and up to 66 participants. The workshop allowed discussing a number of topics, including: the use of the Automated System for Data Collection (ASDC) during the 2020 locust campaign and its further improvement, including by testing the new ASDC beta-version that will be ensured by Georgia and the Russian Federation during the 2021 campaign; the use of the Geographical Information System (GIS) “Caucasus and Central Asia Management System (CCALM)” to analyse locust data, that can be complemented by QGIS as additional instrument for analysis of data from different sources; and, on this basis, improvement of locust forecast and ultimately, reporting. Examples of different GIS were provided, including the one developed by the Russian Federation or the tools used for global Desert Locust forecasting in the concerned geographical areas. Overall, good progress were made since the first regional workshop (November 2019) and it was agreed that the overall objective for the 2021 locust campaign will be to increase ASDC cover and CCALM use. This workshop was held thanks to support from the regional project funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the FAO Regular Programme.

Refresher Courses being delivered online to all CCA countries

10/02/2021

Online Refresher Courses on locust monitoring and information management, including the Automated System for Data Collection (ASDC) and the Caucasus and Central Asian Locust Management System (CCALM), as well as pesticide risk reduction, are being delivered to all CCA countries as part of the Locust Programme in CCA. They target Plant Protection/Locusts Experts, especially Master-Trainers who can in turn deliver training at the national level. So far, the courses have been delivered to Kyrgyzstan (October 2020), Georgia (December 2020), Afghanistan (January 2021), Turkmenistan (early February 2021) and they will follow for the other countries, mainly from February to April 2021. They are carried out thanks to the projects funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).

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