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A literature review on the possible effects of climate change on plant pests and diseases and the trade in plants and plant products within the tripartite region (EAC-COMESA-SADC)

Climate change is already impacting on phytosanitary systems as recent studies by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and others indicate.  It is expected that the impact of climate change on the capacity of phytosanitary systems will increase in future. 

COMESA, EAC and SADC jointly hosted a side event on climate change and its likely effects on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) risks and trade, in the sidelines of the COP 17 negotiations that was held in Durban from 28 November to 8 December 2011.  The event featured briefings and discussions on research findings and published literature on the effects of global warming on the resilience of plant pests and diseases, animal diseases and microbiological pathogens that are significant in trade. It also focused discussions on the likely necessity of increased sanitary and phytosanitary standards to combat the spread of new health risks. 
The objective of the event was to raise awareness amongst African delegates at the COP 17 negotiations about the likely impact of climate change on SPS risks and ultimately trade and the need to strengthen SPS capacities in African countries. Policy briefs on SPS, Climate Change and Trade were produced and disseminated during the negotiations.  
As part of the preparatory work for this event, COMESA, EAC and SADC, with support from Trademark Southern Africa (TMSA), commissioned PhytoSolutions plant health expert to do a desk study on SPS and Climate Change, to synthesize available literature ad research conducted by various organizations.  The study focused on determining adaptive strategies for the Tripartite Region (COMESA, EAC and SADC Free Trade Area) to respond to the impact of Climate Change on the resilience of plant pests and diseases that affect African agri-business and the likely necessity for increased phytosanitary standards and capacities to combat the spread of new phytosanitary risks. 
A policy paper was developed and presented by PhytoSolutions expert consultant Marianna Theyse, on Climate change, SPS and Trade Panel at the COP17 negotiations in Durban on 7 December 2011.

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