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Consultative Meeting on Fall Armyworm in Asia: Meeting Report

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RAP and AGP organized a consultative meeting on FAW in Asia, from March 20-22 in Bangkok Thailand. The meeting included participants from governments of 20 Asian countries, FAO country staff and resource persons, representing different organizations, from Africa, Latin America and FAO staff from HQ and RAP.

FAO HQ staff provided an overview of FAW work to date, including experiences gained in Africa since first occurrence in 2016, and relevance for the spread of FAW in the Asian region. Asian countries with infestation by FAW provided updates on the current FAW situation, and measures put in place to raise awareness, strengthen monitoring systems and developing and fine-tuning IPM strategies for long-term FAW management. Resource persons shared experiences from the African region. Chairs of 7 technical working groups on FAW (created to best respond when FAW emerged in Africa) provided short presentations on the different technical themes, before engaging in intense discussions with the participants in rotating working groups to deepen the topic and to identify best options for strategies to manage FAW in Asia.

The meeting also included a session on public private interaction and partnerships for FAW. Awareness raising on FAW and its spread in the region, monitoring and surveillance of FAW and developing sustainable IPM programmes are key priorities for immediate response and for long term management. The role of biological control for sustainable FAW management was identified as one of the priority areas of IPM.

The participants developed action plans for the Asian region, reflecting different situations – no presence of FAW yet, high risk of FAW infestation in the short term, recent FAW infestation and FAW established and spreading.

FAO will remain active in sharing information in the region, and in providing support as needed, including development of TCP and other projects at national and regional level.