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FAO Publishes Guide to Implementation of Phytosanitary Standards in Forestry

March 2011: The Forestry Information Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a guide on the implementation of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) in forestry.

The guide seeks to provide easy-to-understand information on how forest management practices and implementation of phytosanitary standards can minimize pest spread and facilitate safe trade. It aims to promote understanding of the FAO International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and implementation of its ISPMs and regulations for National Pest Protection Organizations (NPPOs) in the forest sector, and to raise awareness among people involved in forest management and harvesting, trading and transport of forest products, of their role in preventing pest spread.

The guide begins with an overview of pest threats to forests and measures necessary to prevent their spread, in particular under conditions of increased international trade in forest products and changing climatic conditions. This is followed by an explanation of how ISPMs and NPPO regulations affect the import and export of forest commodities under world trade agreements. The subsequent chapter addresses good practices for forest health protection, with a focus on integrated pest management (IPM) for all the phases of, and sites involved in, forest resource management. The next section introduces the IPPC and its procedures for developing and adopting ISPMs, followed by a description of the guidance contained in standards that are particularly relevant to forestry, including on pest risk analysis, wood packaging, pest management, surveillance, reporting, inspection and certification.

The final section, on the way forward, stresses the need for continued expansion of networks for information sharing and the use of modern communication technologies to address the challenges of global pest control. The guide encourages foresters to participate in the ongoing development of new IPPC standards for the forest sector under the Technical Panel of Forest Quarantine (TPFQ) . [Publication: FAO Guide on Phytosanitary Standards in Forestry] [TPFQ Website]