SPS Committee Thematic Session on Fall Armyworm

Geneva, WTO Headquarters

In the context of the Fifth Review of the Operation and Implementation of the SPS Agreement, Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, Paraguay, the United States of America and Uruguay submitted a joint proposal for the Committee on the role of the WTO SPS Agreement in enabling access to tools and technologies and facilitating international trade, and offered recommendations for further discussions in the Committee (G/SPS/W/305). They further suggested that interested Members form a working group to undertake the activities outlined in the proposal for consideration by the Committee under the Fifth Review. At its November 2018 meeting, the Committee decided to hold a thematic session on fall armyworm (FAW).

This programme is based on the structure suggested by the co-sponsors of the proposal (G/SPS/W/309 and G/SPS/W/309/Corr.1).

Programme (in PDF format)

Chairperson: Ms Noncedo Vutula

1 The SPS Agreement

Review of provisions of the SPS Agreement and WTO dispute settlement reports relevant to regulatory approaches that enable access to safe tools and technologies.


2 Fall armyworm: The problem, the tools and technologies

Information on the impact of the spread of this invasive pest across the globe; impact on food security and trade; the particular challenges for smallholders; description of tools and technologies for control; efficacy, resistance and economic factors to consider in integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.


  • Dr Joseph Huesing, Entomologist, USAID - Bureau for Food Security, Fall Armyworm Team, Food Security Service Center, United States Agency for International Development, USAID
    Fall armyworm in Africa and Asia: IPM strategies to manage the pest
  • Dr MaryLucy Oronje, Knowledge Bank Coordinator, CABI Africa
    Fall armyworm: Impacts and management in Africa
  • Dr Maruthi Prasanna Boddupalli, Director of the CGIAR Research Program MAIZE and Global Maize Program, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, CIMMYT-Kenya
    Host plant resistance to fall armyworm: Status and prospects
  • Ms Rose Monnerat, Coordinator of Research Group on Biological Control, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, EMBRAPA, Brazil
    Strategies for biological control of FAW in corn crops

3 Global, regional and domestic approaches

Overview of global partnerships and development assistance efforts with focus on efforts to enable regulatory frameworks that facilitate access to safe and effective tools and technologies.


  • Dr Jean Gérard Mezui M’Ella, Director, African Union Inter-African Phytosanitary Council, AU-IAPSC
    IAPSC's technical and policy activities on FAW in Africa
  • Dr Angela Records, Science Advisor in the Bureau for Food Security, United States Agency for International Development, USAID
    The FAW challenge: Using the principles of development to create a policy enabling environment
  • Dr Gbemenou Joselin Benoit Gnonlonfin, ECOWAS-USAID Senior SPS Standards Adviser, Directorate Agriculture and Rural Development, and Department of Industry and Private Sector Promotion, ECOWAS
    West Africa perspectives on FAW monitoring and its effective control
  • Dr Panagiota Mylona, Policy Officer, Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission, European Union
    The European Union actions on FAW
  • Mr Ming-Yao Chiang, Assistant Researcher, Council of Agriculture, Chinese Taipei
    Controlling and investigating Spodoptera sp.
  • Mr Fahari Marwa, Principal Agricultural Economist, East African Community (EAC) Secretariat
    Fall armyworm: Status and priorities for East Africa – Experiences and lessons from EAC

4 Members' experiences: Successes and challenges in improving regulatory frameworks to support farmer access to safe and effective tools and technologies

Members report on their experiences and recommend ways in which the SPS Committee could enhance their efforts.


  • Mr Jan Hendrik Venter, Manager, Early Warning Systems, Directorate Plant Health, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
    Fall armyworm outbreak: The South African experience
  • Dr Zachary Kinyua, Assistant Director and Head, Crop Health Research, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kenya
    Challenges and current initiatives on management of fall armyworm
  • Mr Santiago Bertoni, Agricultural Trade Coordinator, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Paraguay
    Adoption of sustainable technologies by small producers in Paraguay: A case study
  • Mr David Porritt, Director of Trade Policy and Negotiations, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australia
    Regulation of genetically modified organisms in Australia