IGAD, Member States and partners launch the Inter-regional platform for the management of desert locusts and other trans-boundary pests
The Platform will be co-Chaired by IGAD and DLCO-EA, with its coordinating unit hosted at ICPAC, Nairobi, Kenya.
June 10, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), together with Member States, the Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA), and partners on Friday formally launched the inter-regional platform for the management of desert locusts and other transboundary pests in the IGAD Region.
The Platform is co-Chaired by IGAD and DLCO-EA, with its coordinating unit hosted at ICPAC, Nairobi, Kenya.
Commenting on the launch of the platform on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Mr. Daher Elmi, the Director of the Agriculture and Environment Division at IGAD, said that the platform will primarily strengthen collaboration in the management and control of desert locusts and other transboundary pests in the region and neighboring countries.
“It will be an avenue through which we strengthen regional and national capacity for coordination, monitoring, surveillance and control operations and improve early warning and early response,” said Mr. Daher.
The official launch of the platform was preceded by an inception meeting on June 7 and 8 in which technical experts for Member States and partners formed working groups and made recommendations to the Platform Steering Committee (PSC).
The PSC reviewed and adopted terms of reference as well as rules and regulations of the platform.
In his closing remarks, the ICPAC Director Dr. Guleid Artan reiterated IGAD’s commitment to not only IGAD member states, but all regions and countries affected by desert locusts and other trans-boundary pests.
“Your presence here is indeed proof that joint actions are required to address the challenges of transboundary pests...be assured that IGAD will continue to work together with all relevant stakeholders to deliver on its commitment to strengthen disaster risk management in the region,” said Dr Artan.
DLCO-EA Director Mr. Rwaheru Mwesigwa added that, “coming together to look for solutions to the regional problem of desert locusts and other transboundary pests will go a long way in promoting food security and improving people’s livelihoods.”
The platform comes nearly three years after the Horn of Africa region experienced the worst locust invasion in 25 years for Ethiopia and Somalia, and the worst in 70 years for Kenya. It also comes at a time when the region is grappling with other pests such as the African army worm and quelea birds.
The PSC was attended by representatives from IGAD and 7 of its Member States, development partners including World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), and International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE).
The platform is supported by the World Bank as part of its Emergency Locust Response Program Phase 3 (SSELRP) that supports the Republic of South Sudan and IGAD to respond to the challenges posed by the desert locust invasion.
Read more on the decisions and recommendations of the 1st platform steering committee meeting here