PACIFIC BIOCONTROL STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP
Thursday, 21 January 2010 12:39

The workshop which was a collaboration between LandCare New Zealand, United States Forest Service in Hawaii and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) was held in Auckland New Zealand on 16-18 November 2009. SPC Plant health and quarantine specialists from Fiji Islands, Cook Islands, Palau, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Tonga, as well as scientists from New Zealand, Australia, Hawai’i (United States), and the United Kingdom attended the workshop. As a result of the workshop, SPC, along with other Pacific Island neighbours are working on building the capacity of biocontrol as a pest management tool and hope to replace chemical control with these natural enemies. Most invasive weeds have natural enemies in their original habitats which requires transporting the bioagents, mass-rearing and releasing them in countries where they have become a problem.


PACIFIC PLANT PROTECTION ORGANISATION
PPPO, funded by AusAID, NZ and EU, complements the role of PPS by bringing global quarantine and plant protection issues into a regional perspective. PPPO is the Regional Plant Protection Organisation (RPPO) recognised by the International
Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). SPC Plant Protection Service acts as the Secretariat for the PPPO. The PPPO executive committee is made up of 8 elected representatives with 1 from each of New Zealand and Australia and 2
from each of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. It helps Pacific Island countries to comply with global quarantine measures for international trade. Member countries of the PPPO meet every three years. The last PPPO Executive
Committee Meeting was held on October 1, 2003.


REGIONAL TECHNICAL MEETING FOR PLANT PROTECTION

(RTMPP) This is a meeting every 3 years of representatives from national plant protection services of member PICT's, Australia and New Zealand. Country representatives present papers on their current plant protection situation and recommendations are made for improvements and new services. The RTMPP serves as an important consultative mechanism for the SPC Plant Protection Service.
The last RTMPP meeting was held in Nadi, Fiji, at the end of February 2002 where emphasis was made on the need to continually train farmers, advisors and scientific staff in the Pacific to upgrade their skills.
The RPPO15 meeting was held on September 29-30 at Sigatoka in Fiji.