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The EMPRES Central Region Programme
The Desert Locust Component of EMPRES (Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases) was initiated in mid 1994. Its purpose was to strengthen the locust management capacity of locust -affected countries with the aim of minimizing the risk that Desert Locust plagues will develop. It was designed as a collaborative programme in which affected countries, regional organizations, donors, and FAO, participate in the development of improved preventive control strategies.

Pilot activities started in 1995 in the Central Region, comprising nine countries around the Red Sea (Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen). This area is considered to be the origin of most Desert Locust outbreaks.

Phase I of the programme became operational in 1997 and ended at the end of 2000. Phase II started in January 2001 and ended by December 2003. The programme is currently in its Phase III which will end by December 2006.

Phase III is expected to be the last phase as a donor supported programme. It is hence expected that by the end of 2006 the responsibilities for promoting and performing preventive Desert Locust management strategies will be transferred to the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) and the member countries.

The EMPRES/CR Programme has been evaluated at the end of Phase I and twice during Phase II; the first time in August 2001 as part of an overall evaluation of the entire EMPRES programme; the second time in February-March 2003.

The primary development objective of the EMPRES Central Region Programme was stated as:

“To minimise the risk of Desert Locust plagues emanating from the Central Region of the Desert Locust distribution area through well-directed surveys and timely, environmentally sound interventions in order to mitigate food security concerns in the Central Region and beyond.”

The Programme goal was defined as:

“To strengthen the capabilities and capacities of the national, regional, and international components of the Desert Locust management system to implement effective and efficient preventive control strategies based on early warning and timely, environmentally sound, early control interventions.

The major components of improved preventive Desert Locust control management are focused on:
  • Enhanced interaction between the stakeholders;
  • Early detection and early warning;
  • Introduction of economic and environmentally safer control technologies including research;
  • Capacity building and training;
  • Contingency planning and rapid deployment.
For more information, click here… EMPRES-CR Team
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