|Pest List Database|
|Thursday, 22 April 2010 16:32|
The Pacific Islands Pest List Database (PLD) stores records of pests that are currently known to affect agriculture, forestry and the environment in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). The development of the Pacific Islands PLD was identified and requested at three regional consultations: Pacific Plant Protection Organisation meeting, 1998; Regional Technical Meeting on Plant Protection, 1999; and Plant Protection in the Pacific meeting, 2001.
PICT trading partners, often other Pacific islands, need to know the risks involved when planning to trade in a particular commodity. To allow trading to start, PICTs are required to provide a list of pests and diseases for the traded commodity. Previously, each PICT kept their own pest list and furnished it only when requested. Now, this information can be shared on-line.
Under principles of transparency enshrined in various international agreements including WTO Agreement on Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures PICTs are obliged to inform trade partners and/or neighbours of their pest status. Hence, maintaining a regional and/or national pest list database and making it readily available to various stakeholders satisfy this requirement.
A pest list is a requirement under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Article IV/2 (b), which states that the responsibilities of an official national plant protection organization shall include the following: the surveillance of growing plants, including both areas under cultivation and wild flora, particularly with the object of reporting the occurrence of pests, and Article VIII/2 (b) which states that the contracting parties shall cooperate with one another to the fullest practicable extent in achieving the aims of this Convention, and shall in particular: cooperate in the exchange of information on plant pests, particularly the reporting of the occurrence, outbreak or spread of pests that maybe of immediate or potential danger, in accordance with such procedures as may be established by the Commission.
A PLD is also required under obligations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) by Article 5: Assessment of Risk and Determination of the Appropriate Level of Sanitary or Phytosanitary Protection. Article 6: Adaptation to Regional Conditions, Including Pest- or Disease-Free Areas and Areas of Low Pest or Disease Prevalence. Article 6/3 states: "Exporting Members claiming that areas within their territories are pest- or disease-free areas or areas of low pest or disease prevalence shall provide the necessary evidence thereof in order to objectively demonstrate to the importing Member that such areas are, and are likely to remain, pest- or disease-free areas or areas of low pest or disease prevalence, respectively. For this purpose, reasonable access shall be given, upon request, to the importing Member for inspection, testing and other relevant procedures."
The PLD system can also furnish a host list for a given pest - a requirement necessary to carry out the Import Risk Analysis procedure. Another feature is the ability of the PLD system to map out the regional and national distribution of a pest. In addition, a user is also able to look up the taxonomic data of a particular pest, complete with photograph.
A large amount of pest information in the country PLDs was sourced from national pest surveys, published reports, journal articles, and electronic data found in the international literature. Country PLDs SPC Plant Protection Service (PPS) helped develop a country PLD for each PICT, containing data on national pest occurrences. Country PLDs are now available for Samoa, Tonga, Niue, French Polynesia, Fiji, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, FSM, Palau and Marshall Islands. PLDs for other PICTs are in various stages of development.
PPS has carried out extensive training on PLD operations and national staff have acquired the necessary skills to maintain their own national PLDs. Each PICT is responsible for their own country PLD, including uploading new data to the Pacific Islands PLD. This responsibility lies with the national plant protection organisation (NPPO) of each country.