Project to Implement ISPM 15 Programs in Africa

Project to Implement ISPM 15 Programs in Africa

A project lasting approximately 2 1/2 years was concluded in July of 2017 for the evaluation of how the ISPM 15 standard would impact the African countries of Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Cameroon. The ISPM 15 standard is one which relates to treating wood packaging material, so that wood boring pests are not transmitted between countries on the wood pallets which products are usually stacked on. The purpose of the long-running study was to evaluate the cost benefits of implementing the standard in those countries, and to determine what the economic, ecological, and logistical impacts would be.

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It has been found highly desirable to implement the ISPM 15 standard by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), so as to prevent the spread of wood-boring insects during international trade. Several effective methods can be used to implement the standard, which calls for treating the wood so as to ensure that all pests are exterminated prior to sending palletized products across borders.

To accomplish this, three preferred methods have been identified: using methyl bromide gas to kill all pests, dielectric heating, or subjecting the pallets to high-temperature through the use of conventional kilns. Subjecting the pallets to high temperature is the most commonly used method of treating wood pallets. While the objective of implementing ISPM 15 across all trade partners is deemed highly desirable for preventing the spread of pests, it was also necessary to determine the economic impact that implementation would have on several of the more economically depressed African nations.

Objectives of the study

There were several objectives identified for this study from the very outset, and these objectives should help to clarify the difficulty and the impact of implementing the ISPM 15 standard among the participating African nations, as well as others. The goals of the research are to;

  1. Study the effects of ISPM 15 implementation in select African countries.
  2. Identify challenges and recommend policies to assist nations in implementing ISPM 15 programs.
  3. Develop training materials for NPPOs.
  4. Inform non-participating countries on how to effectively implement ISPM 15.

Before the implementation of ISPM15, outbreaks of wood-boring pests like Emerald Ash Borer have threatened North American forests. If pests like this are spread to forests in developing nations, then their access to natural resources potential for economic growth will likely suffer. ISPM 15 was designed to mitigate the spread of wood boring insects and it has been shown to be highly effective when all countries implement it.


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