Wednesday, 17 December 2014 on 4:20am

BIOTROP-FAO Regional Seminar Workshop Recommends Ways to Harmonize Risk Analysis of Forest Invasive Alien Plant Species in SEA

“Develop a region-wide long- and short-term capacity building program to improve individual and institutional capabilities to address gaps in implementing risk analysis of forest invasive alien plant species in collaboration with UN agencies and other relevant international and regional organizations.”

This was among the recommendations agreed upon by the participants and resource persons that attended the Regional Seminar-Workshop on Harmonizing Methods in Risk Analysis of Forest Invasive Alien Plant Species in Southeast Asia held on 2-5 December 2014 at BIOTROP headquarter in Bogor.
The other recommendations were as follows:

1.    Enhance the awareness and implementation of National Invasive Species Strategies and Action Plans (NIISAP) as part of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) in relation to risk analysis of forest invasive alien plant species.
2.    Enhance the awareness and implementation of existing international standards (i.e., ISPMs, FAO procedure for post border weed risk managment, etc.) in collaboration with relevant parties.
3.   Develop program/project research proposals in collaboration with other relevant institutions at both national and regional levels towards addressing gaps in risk analysis of forest Invasive alien plant species (i.e., from goal setting, hazard identification, risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication) which are aligned with NIISAPs and NBSAPs.
4.   Develop communication materials and policy instruments to improve public and decision makers’ awareness and action on helping to understand the importance of preventing the spread and establishment of forest invasive alien plant species and their economic, social and environmental impacts.
5.   Mainstream invasive alien species as a subject matter in all education levels where appropriate.
6.   Review existing IAS networks and databases both regionally and globally on sharing and utilizing FIAPS information and affiliate where necessary in order to enhance knowledge sharing and understanding of international and regional trends for application at national level.

Co-organized by BIOTROP and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Asia Pacific (FAO RAP) Office, the seminar-workshop convened 27 participants  from Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam  to arrive at a consensus in adopting a more harmonized approach in risk analysis of forest invasive alien plant species in the region.

The recommendations were generated from the resource persons’ presentations, participants’ country reports, and results of the small group workshops on identifying the gaps and challenges on risk analysis in the region and proposing corresponding solutions to them. 

The resource persons and the topics they discussed during the seminar-workshop were (1) Dr. Junko Shimura from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat on “Current Global Protocols and Legal Frameworks in Biodiversity Conservation with Special Focus on Risk Analysis of Invasive Alien Species”; (2) Dr. Shiroma Sathyapala from UN FAO on “Implementation of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) on Pest Risk Analysis on Forest Pests; (3) Dr. Andrew Sheppard from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on “The Australian Pre-Border Weed Risk Assessment and Management System”; (4) Dr. Stephen Johnson from the Department of Primary Industries of New South Wales, Australia on “The Australian Post-Border Weed Risk Assessment and Management System”; (5) Dr. Tomoko Nishida from the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES) of Japan on “Adapting the Australian Pre-Border Weed Risk Assessment and Management System for Use in Other Countries”; (6) Ms. Erica Villavelez from the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity on “ASEAN Legal Frameworks on Risk Analysis of Invasive Alien Species”; (7) Dr. Soekisman Tjitrosoedirdjo from BIOTROP on “BIOTROP’s Research and Capacity Building Experiences in Invasive Alien Plant Species Risk Analysis.”

The seminar-workshop was supported by the CBD, CSIRO, CABI, NIAES-Japan, and the FORIS Project of the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia. It was coordinated by Dr. Jess C. Fernandez and Dr. Sri Sudarmiyati Tjitrosoedirdjo from BIOTROP and Mr. Kenichi Shono from FAO-RAP.

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