Locust Watch
Locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia

News

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).

Launch of the new JICA-funded project to the benefit of six Central Asian countries!

01/12/2020

The new “Project for Improvement of Locust Management (Phase 2)” was launched on 1st December 2020 at the occasion of the first Project Steering Committee. Representatives of all main stakeholders were present: the six beneficiary Central Asian countries - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; the resource partner, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); and FAO, in charge of its implementation. This five-year project, of USD 7,5 million, is expected to provide substantial support for improving locust management through regional cooperation and strengthening of technical capacities on a wide range of topics, including for the operational use of the locust Geographical Information System (GIS) entitled CCALM. While the immediate beneficiaries are the national services in charge of locust management, the ultimate beneficiaries of the assistance will be the rural populations living in the locust-affected areas, whose food security and livelihoods will be preserved through better prevention of locust outbreaks and upsurges. Best wishes to all for a successful implementation of this new project! 

The Technical Workshop on Locusts in CCA was successfully held in November, as every year since 2009 but for the first time remotely. It gathered the participating countries in the FAO “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)”, the Programme current resource partners -the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- as well as a large number of observers, including from China and Iran. The workshop allowed discussing: lessons learnt from the 2020 national anti-locust campaign and preparation of the next one; implementation of the Programme in 2020 and work plan for 2021; the latest developments regarding the Geographical 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. 

Remote Refresher Course on locust monitoring, information management and pesticide risk reduction delivered to Kyrgyz Master-Trainers

06/11/2020

A Refresher Course 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, was delivered on 5 and 26-30 October 2020, to the benefit of seven Kyrgyz Master-Trainers, by FAO staff and consultant. This will allow the Master-Trainers to deliver in turn training to other staff at the national level, in November 2020. This Training-of-Trainers is funded by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). For the first time in CCA Locust Programme, it was delivered remotely to cope with the current pandemics and proved to be functioning well. It is intended to be the first of a series of training to be delivered by FAO to the benefit of CCA countries in late 2020/early 2021.

1 2 3