Pakistan as a key frontline country in the fight against Desert Locust

Islamabad, December 14, 2016 (PPI-OT):Pakistan is in the frontline of Desert Locust in Southwest Asia. A contributing factor is the two breeding seasons for locusts in the spring and summer in Pakistan during which locusts breed in the desert areas bordering India and Iran. This was highlighted during the 30th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, (FAO) Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC) held on 13-14 December 2016 in Islamabad.

Mr. Keith Cressman, Executive Secretary of the Commission, conducted the session with delegates from Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan who are the four members of FAO’s oldest regional locust commission. The role of the Commission is to strengthen national capacities of member countries to monitor their locust situation, undertake the necessary control operations and plan for rapid response to locust outbreaks and invasions.

FAO is uniquely placed to monitor the global Desert Locust situation and act as a neutral provider of objective and reliable information that the countries can use to prepare for and prevent locust attacks. The Organization’s Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) based at FAO headquarters in Rome has been providing locust-affected countries with forecasts and early warning for nearly four decades.

During this session of the Commission, delegates agreed to introduce bio pesticides for Desert Locust control, to develop a resource management system, and to strengthen information and reporting, contingency plans and training. The combined efforts of SWAC and DLIS will help to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of devastating locust plagues and protect agriculture and livelihoods in the region. This Commission has been meeting regularly every two years since 1964. The last session was held in 2014 in Iran.

For more information, contact:
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-8355720
Cell: +92-300-8553790
Email: ishrat.rizvi@unic.org