The red palm weevil is a major transboundary pest affecting date palms worldwide. The weevil is causing devastating damage to more than 40 palm species worldwide including economically important palm species e.g. date palms, coconut and ornamental palms, affecting production, the environment and the livelihoods of millions of farmers. The annual losses in date palms in the Mediterranean countries is estimated at 480 million Euros (FAO). Successful RPW management is possible through implementation of an integrated pest management strategy, involving many components. However, there are many gaps and challenges in almost all the components of the RPW management strategy.
The FAO RPW Eradication Strategy clearly pointed out some common gaps and challenges in most of national policies and regulatory systems explaining the failure to control RPW. Among those identified gaps/challenges are lack of availability of trustful/certified palms (certified nurseries) within the countries; and inadequate protocols and certification for export/import of ornamental and exotic palms; and lack of specific regulations/guidelines on phytosanitary measures to regulate the palm trade, especially at the entry points undermine the effective control of RPW.
Long-distance dissemination of many pests/pathogens occurs mostly via infected/infested propagative material. Certification of plant propagation material, which is one of the main measures supporting the quarantine strategy, is today the only way to prevent the detrimental effects of some pests/pathogens. There is a need to develop guidelines for establishing commercial date palm nurseries and put in place a system for date palm nurseries’ registration and certification and to support the establishment of facilities for production of tissue culture palms.
The Near East Plant Protection Organization (“NEPPO”) as a coordinating body in the NENA region under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), to promote international and regional cooperation and capabilities, to preventing the spread and entry of pests, controlling pests in an appropriate manner and to facilitate safe regional and international trade. In controlling RPW, NEPPO is working to promote and facilitate information exchange, harmonize regulations, phytosanitary measures, monitoring programs, management programs, promote cooperation and coordination, develop regional strategy and build NPPOs capacity. NEPPO is a platform for member countries to develop and implement a regional strategy and standards for the protection of plants.
NEPPO will develop a regional standard for harmonized phytosanitary measures within the region (at borders and inspection on the territory; a regional standard protocol for available and cost-effective treatments of offshoots and ornamentals (at border) and a RPW Free Zone Protocol.
In this context, NEPPO make a call for a consultant (See ToR). The dead line is November 30. 2021 at 24:00.
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