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RSPM 12 training module

The North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) is a Regional Plant Protection Organization involving Canada, the United States and Mexico that works to promote safe trade while safeguarding agricultural and other plant resources. NAPPO brings together experts representing the three member-countries, including industry, to work on diverse projects that are phytosanitary priorities for the three member-countries. For example, some expert groups develop Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPMs) that are based on common ground and sound science.  These Standards increase transparency, focus discussions on the relevant scientific information, and help ensure that the same information is used in regulatory decision making in all its member-countries.

The NAPPO Biological Control Expert Group was tasked with developing a regional standard for the preparation of petitions for first-time release of entomophagous biological control agents.  RSPM 12 - Guidelines for Petition for First Release of Non-indigenous Entomophagous Biological Control Agents, adopted by the NAPPO Executive Committee in the year 2000, outlines the information that all three countries have agreed should be presented and considered when requests are made to release a new exotic biological control agent of an insect pest. RSPM 12 has been revised and updated three times – in 2006, 2008 and again in 2015.  At the end of the most current revision, the Biological Control Expert Group held a training workshop to assist in implementation of RSPM 12.  The workshop was attended by 24 participants from 5 countries representing 5 regulatory agencies and 7 industries. The workshop was so successful that it was decided that materials from the workshop would be converted into an online module.  The online module in English was completed in late 2016 and the NAPPO Secretariat is working on the translation of materials and voiceover for the Spanish version of the module.

The intent of the training module is to assist biological control practitioners in drafting a comprehensive, well organized petition for the first release of non-indigenous biological control agents of insect pests.  RSPM 12 takes the guesswork out of what information to include in a petition, and this in turn helps reviewers quickly identify where there are gaps in our knowledge of the pest and the proposed biological control agent, as well as the risks, if any, of releasing the new agent.

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