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WTO Seminar Calls for Enhanced Collaboration to Protect Biodiversity from Invasive Species

13 July 2012: A World Trade Organization (WTO) seminar has recommended a series of actions to control invasive alien species (IAS) more effectively, including improved coordination among relevant international organizations, and among national ministries and agencies, in implementing the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).

Co-organized by the WTO Standards and Trade Development Facility, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the seminar aimed to: raise awareness about the mutually beneficial goals of the SPS Agreement and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and effective SPS systems to prevent the entry of IAS; foster collaboration between the SPS and CBD communities at both regional and national levels; and review initiatives that aim to build national and regional capacities to manage the entry and spread of IAS.

The seminar highlighted the role of SPS capacity in managing IAS risks, and recommended key actions to control such species more effectively, including: enhancing collaboration among relevant international organizations in implementing the SPS Agreement and global biodiversity conventions; ensuring better implementation of existing international standards and developing new standards where needed; boosting countries' ability to undertake scientific risk analysis and other studies; improving coordination between relevant ministries and agencies within countries, as well as between countries and within regions; enhancing cooperation between governments and industry; and studying potential risks associated with the growth in Internet trade, and how to address them.

The Seminar took place from 12-13 July 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland. [WTO Press Release] [Seminar Website]