In 2007, the Caribbean Plant Health Directors (CPHD) Forum was formed largely as a result of efforts by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Heath and Inspection Services (USDA / APHIS) and CARICOM, with support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Over the last 5 years the CPHD Forum increased its collaborative efforts and unified its strategies to strengthen plant health safeguarding throughout the Greater Caribbean Region. With support from its partner agent USDA APHIS – GCSI, IICA, CARICOM FAO, CARDI and CABI, its membership has expanded beyond CARICOM Member States and Associated Member States, to include Non CARICOM Countries and entities such as Aruba, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Curacao, Martinique, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands and Organismo Interacional Regioanl de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA)
A primary and critical goal of the CPHD Forum is to increase communication and foster transparent exchange of phytosanitary information among Caribbean countries and entities. One of the means used to achieve this goal is the exchange of information through individual and group interchange via the annual CPHD Forum meeting.
Now in its Seventh Year, the Caribbean Plant Health Directors (CPHD) Forum has not stopped in its drive to serve as the technical resource base which proposes recommendations on matters of safeguarding against or minimizing the impact of plant pests and diseases to the region’s agriculture and environment.
The Forum envisions itself as becoming the Region’s Plant Protection Organization and at the Fifth Meeting of the CPHD Fourm at Scrub Island Hotel, BVI in 2012, the forum took steps to formalize it position in the Regions’ agricultural sector.
The forum elected an executive to include a Chair, Co Chair and Technical Secretary to better support the activities and needs of the CPHD. The Forum also tabled its Charter, prospective logo and is investigating steps to formally decommission the Caribbean Plant Protection Commission (CPPC) in efforts to cement its viability.
With support from USDA APHIS GCSI, the CPHD’s in its past 6 years of existence has been able to;
1. Train more than 200 technical personnel in the region in areas such as the identification of insect orders Hemiptera / Homoptera, Coleoptera, Heteroptera, Lepidoptera, Thysanoptera; Mollusks, plant diagnostics etc.;
2. Provide diagnostic equipment to Member States (Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago) and increase video conferencing equipment to all the IICA Offices in the Region;
3. Draft a Manual on Red Palm Mite.
4. Complete the Evaluation of the Fruit Fly Trapping Programme in the Caribbean region, recommending improvements to the Programme (country specific) and currently implementing several of those recommendations throughout the region and,
5. Compiled datasheets for the identification, prevention, control and/or eradication of the following palm pests / disease – Lethal Yellowing; Coconut Cadang-Cadang; Viroid; Red Palm Mite; Red Ring Nematode; and Red Palm Weevil;
In 2014, with the support of the Government of the Cayman Islands and the USDA APHIS GCSI, the Seventh Meeting of the Caribbean Plant Health Directors is scheduled to take place in the week of July 28th – 1st August 2013 at the Marriott Hotel, Grand Cayman.