Under the Greater Caribbean Safeguarding Initiative (GCSI) Cooperative Agreement for 2019, The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) was awarded a project which sought to strengthen safeguarding systems in the Caribbean, so as to prevent the entry and spread of plant pests. Specifically, the project aimed at conducting capacity building actions in the areas of pest identification, pathway analysis for pest introductions and emergency response for pests of priority to the United States and the Caribbean.

In December 2019, IICA conducted an emergency response tabletop simulation exercise for Tuta absoluta. The tabletop exercise sought to:

– create an awareness amongst key stakeholders of absoluta
– evaluate the suitability of the current Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to prevent, protect and mitigate against absoluta i.e. identification of gaps and possible actions to fill gaps.
– develop methodology that can be used by countries to assess their readiness to respond to an incursion by absoluta.

The exercise brought together 16 stakeholders from four TWGs of the CPHD Forum (Pest Prioritization, Pest Diagnostic, Emergency Response, Safeguarding), Extension Officers, Plant Quarantine Officers, Crop Protection Personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture (Trinidad and Tobago) and regional and international Agencies (CABI, CAHFSA, CARDI, FAO, APHIS IS, IICA).

Here are some pictures of the participants in action: