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Abstract

The plant protection strategy in Martinique and in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, i.e. eight small islands known as "French West Indies", is based on three main pillars. These pillars are implemented in the framework of a complex set of European and overseas-specific regulations, and according to the standard French administrative rules and organization, which are not always customizedfor tropical agriculture issues. The first pillar is Import-Export control (quarantine invasive species control). The second pillar concerns control of invasive and other pest species in nurseries (control on quarantine invasive species and pests impacting on production). The third pillar is surveillance and protection of crops grown in fields. Import-Export regulations are a mix of the present European regulations, which prioritize free trade within the European Union (Martinique and Guadeloupe being part of the EU), while import regulations with third countries avoid import bans for vegetables, and prioritize specific requirements for quarantine pests. In contrast, the Specific Overseas Regulation, is based mainly on import bans and an accumulation of old-fashioned requirements, which are based more on precautionary principles than on reasonable science-based arguments. In order to integrate the European regulations, 200 invasive pests and plants risk analyses have been completed. These PRAs are the foundation of the new "European Overseas Regulations ", which are being drafted. To combat the most dangerous invasive species, Project PANDOeR [New Pathogens: Detection, Observation, Eradication] was initiated. It consists of putting in place a system for the early detection and eradication of threatening diseases. The targeted diseases and insects are those present in the Caribbean islands that may impact the environment and economy of Martinique (tourism, agriculture, and employment) and that are potentially invasive: coconut lethal yellowing and the red palm mite on palm trees, Black Sigatoka (and Yellow Sigatoka, which is already present), moko disease of banana, fruit flies, etc. PANDOeR involves several administrative or professional partners, and aims at (i) controlling possible invasions of dangerous invasive species, and (ii) limiting the geographical range extensions of already present pests, etc.

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