Grand Cayman Island, – 1st August,2014 – During the period July 29 to August 1, 2014, representatives from more than 20 Caribbean countries and territories and several partner organizations, including the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), The OECS Secretariat, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Centre for Agricultural Biosciences – International (CABI) , gathered in the Cayman Islands for the seventh annual meeting of the Caribbean Plant Health Directors (CPHD).
The Caribbean is known for its vital and diverse agriculture and natural resources and protecting them from potentially devastating invasive pests and diseases is critical to the health and prosperity of the region.
During the meeting, the CPHD Forum entertained intense discussions aimed at bolstering the ability of member countries to identify, exclude, and respond to pests and diseases that threaten regional agriculture and natural resources and to resolve issues that might impede the trade of Caribbean agricultural products regionally and internationally. Members also made progress on determining how regional plant protection and trade priorities of the region will be raised at meetings of international organizations that govern these activities.
The CPHD Forum also elected a new executive body which includes the incoming Chair; Mr. Brian Crichlow, Assistant Director, Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture, The Co-chair; Mr. Ryan Anselm, Head of Plant Protection Quarantine Services , Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Dominica and the Technical Secretary; Mr. Eric Evelyn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing, Co-operatives and Fisheries, Nevis. The Co-Chair and Technical Secretary were re-elected to serve a new two year term. In addition, the Forum endorsed a charter that formalizes the structure and function of this collaborative network of plant health officials and partner organizations.
CPHD Forum members are striving to unify plant health safeguarding strategies in the region through the exchange of technical information, the transfer of technologies and methods, and the harmonization of plant protection and agricultural trade management approaches. The efforts of this forum will strengthen plant protection and have a direct impact on the region’s food security and economic prosperity for the Greater Caribbean Region