15th Meeting of the Panel on Plant Quarantine Information
The EPPO Panel on Plant Quarantine Information met at the Plant Protection Central Research Institute in Ankara, Turkey. The aim of this Panel is to review the existing EPPO information services and make proposals for future improvements and developments.
A demonstration of the EPPO website was made during the meeting to emphasize its new features:
- the entire collection of EPPO slides is now available on-line, and the EPPO Secretariat has sent out requests to all its member countries to continue to expand this collection of pictures of regulated pests.
- frequently asked questions (FAQs) for EPPT, EPPO codes (formerly BAYER codes) and PQR are now available to help users of these databases.
- NPPOs now have a restricted access to certain parts of the EPPO website: for the moment all PRA documents are included in this restricted area, but it is planned also to put there documents sent for country consultation.
The EPPO Secretariat plans to add more information on NPPO structures and to transfer the archive documents (e.g. all published standards) from the FTP server to the EPPO website. The Panel considered that EPPO should continue to maintain and develop the EPPO website.
All pictures are kindly provided by G. Tökés
Centralized database on quarantine pests
The Panel stressed the need for a centralized database which would contain all EPPO pest-specific information (i.e. geographical distribution, maps, pictures, datasheets, diagnostic protocols). This database should be available on the EPPO website. Although no centralized database has yet been put in place by the EPPO Secretariat, all necessary changes in hardware have been implemented (installation of a firewall, fast Internet access) and pest-specific computer files have been collected.
A demonstration of the latest EPPT version (3.0) was made during the meeting. No major change has been made to EPPT program or interface but data has been updated. Dr Smith and Ms Smith will continue to maintain the database after their retirement.
A new version of PQR (4.4) was presented to the Panel and will be released very soon. The Panel discussed the future maintenance of the database and stressed the need to maintain it within the Organization.
EPPO Reporting Service
The Panel supported the view that this publication could be provided only in electronic form, and that the paper form could be abandoned. This proposal will be made to all EPPO member countries.
FAO International Phytosanitary Portal (IPP)
A detailed demonstration of the IPP was made during the meeting and EPPO countries were encouraged to use it to provide information to the IPPC Secretariat (e.g. NPPO contact point, phytosanitary regulations, lists of quarantine pests, pest reports, news). A Workshop is planned in York (UK) in November to help Western European countries to use the IPP. This followed a series of Workshops organized in all regions of the world. For Europe, one already took place in Prague (2005-02-21/25) and another is planned for Russian-speaking countries in the near future.
On behalf of the Panel, Dr Smith warmly thanked M. Akbas and his colleagues for the fine organization of the meeting and the good facilities which enabled successful computer demonstrations. During the meeting, participants also had the opportunity to enjoy nice Turkish meals and interesting visits to a company producing grapevine planting material and to the typical village of Baypasari.