Council Colloquium on Contingency planning
Bykovo, RU 2013-09-19
After the administrative session of the EPPO Council, a Colloquium on contingency planning took place at the All-Russian Plant Quarantine Centre in Bykovo. Participants were welcomed by Mr Magomedov who outlined the main activities of the All-Russian Plant Quarantine Centre (Rosselkhoznadzor). Contingency plans aim to ensure a rapid and effective response to an outbreak of a pest which has been assessed as likely to present a major impact. Several speakers presented their experience regarding contingency planning. They explained the preparation process of national contingency plans, the general contents of these plans, and the challenges faced during their implementation. The Colloquium then discussed what the possible role of EPPO could be in contingency planning. It was generally recognized that the existing EPPO Standard PM 9/10(1) Generic elements for contingency plans already provided useful guidance, although specific elements could be further improved. The Colloquium made several recommendations (see below) which will be presented to the EPPO Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations and eventually to the relevant EPPO Panels.
Participants - View more pictures
- EPPO activities on contingency planning
Ms Petter presented the EPPO activities regarding contingency planning. She recalled that at global level, ISPM 9 General requirements for pest eradication programmes constitutes a general framework for conducting eradication programmes. At the EPPO level, Standard PM 9/10(1) Generic elements for contingency plans provides guidance on the main elements which should be included in a plan. Other pest-specific Standards included in the series PM 9 National Regulation Control Systems contain many elements on eradication and containment. Finally, an EPPO decision-support scheme for prioritizing action during outbreaks is under development.
- Contingency planning in Slovenia
Ms Benko-Beloglavec presented the contingency plans which were implemented in Slovenia during the fireblight and potato cyst nematode outbreaks. She illustrated how the detailed preparation of such plans was important and underlined the main difficulties which were faced during their implementation (revision of legislation, diagnostic capacity, inspector training, delimiting survey methodology, plant destruction methods, disposal of biowaste and environmental legislation, awareness campaigns). She thought that contingency plans should be prepared for important pests but not necessarily for all pests. She highlighted that the existing EPPO Standards in particular PM 9/10 had been very useful in the preparation of national contingency plans.
- Contingency planning in the Netherlands
Mr van Eck explained how important infrastructures and organizational aspects are when designing and implementing contingency plans. He presented in detail how the roles and responsibilities related to financial aspects, standard procedures, and reporting activities were shared among the official bodies in the Netherlands. He also presented the main elements which are included in pest specific contingency plans and noted that regular updating of these plans was needed. He considered that the main challenges faced were the lack of financial compensation for growers, the availability (or non-availability) of pesticides and communication with the different stakeholders.
- Contingency planning in Russia
Ms Mironova presented the legislative basis that is currently in place in the Russian Federation. These regulations constitute the legal framework which allows essential tasks in containment/eradication campaigns to be conducted (e.g. delimitation of quarantine areas, monitoring surveys, PRA, diagnostics, disinfection/cleaning/fumigation methods, destruction/transport/disposal of infested plant material). She also explained how staff involved in containment and eradication campaigns were informed and trained.
- Contingency planning in the UK
Mr Ashby explained how the introduction of ash dieback in the UK has triggered a general review of plant health activities. In particular, the development of a risk register (a list of potential threats) has been initiated and it is planned that contingency plans will be developed for high priority pests. He presented the lessons learnt during past and present outbreaks (potato ring rot and Anoplophora glabripennis). He underlined the necessity of internal and external consultation phases with interested parties during the preparation of a contingency plan. Responsibilities, actions to be taken, financial and human resources, means of communication should be clearly defined in contingency plans, but some flexibility should also be kept so that they can be adapted to situations in the field.
- Contingency planning in Estonia
Mr Kinkar explained, almost day-by-day, how the contingency plan for fireblight has been implemented in Estonia since the discovery of the first outbreak in 2012. The plan had been elaborated in 2010 following the first findings of the disease in neighbouring countries. The main challenges faced were: the lack of diagnostic expertise and capacity for a pathogen that was previously absent from the country, the implementation of phytosanitary measures and the fact that the financial compensation was considered insufficient by growers, the interferences with trade resulting from the outbreak, and the unpredictable response of the media and general public.
The Colloquium discussed what the possible role of EPPO could be in contingency planning. It was generally recognized that the existing EPPO Standards in the PM 9 series provide very useful elements for NPPOs to design their contingency plans. The following suggestions were made:
- EPPO should organize a workshop on the implementation of contingency planning. The target audience of such workshop should be the inspectors and it should address the practical, legal and communication aspects of the implementation of a contingency plan.
- Participants agreed that it was important that NPPOs conduct exercises on contingency plans and suggested that EPPO could help to develop guidance on how to organize and conduct such exercises.
- Pest specific PM 9 Standards were considered to be useful and are used in conjunction with PM 9/10 to develop national contingency plans. Priority pests should be identified to develop new Pest Specific PM 9. In addition it was noted that it would be useful to review PM 9/10 to verify whether all issues regarding communication and consultation with other relevant bodies (e.g. other Ministries, or agencies) are adequately covered.
- Participants also suggested that EPPO should investigate how to support NPPOs for the development of contingency plans by acting as a facilitator to find literature (including existing contingency plans) and identify experts who have experience with contingency plans (one possibility might be to establish a database on expertise in eradication).