The role of the World Trade Organization and the ‘three sisters’ (the World Organisation for Animal Health, the International Plant Protection Convention and the Codex Alimentarius Commission) in the control of invasive alien species and the preservation of biodiversity
The missions of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) include the design of surveillance and control methods for infectious transboundary animal diseases (including zoonoses), the provision of guarantees concerning animal health and animal production food safety, and the setting of standards for, and promotion of, animal welfare. The OIE role in setting standards for the sanitary safety of international trade in animals and animal products is formally recognised in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). While the primary focus of the OIE is on animal diseases and zoonoses, the OIE has also been working within the WTO framework to examine possible contributions the organisation can make to achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, particularly to preventing the global spread of invasive alien species (IAS). However, at the present time, setting standards for invasive species (other than those connected to the cause and distribution of diseases listed by the OIE) is outside the OIE mandate. Any future expansion of the OIE mandate would need to be decided by its Members and resources (expertise and financial contributions) for an extended standard-setting work programme secured. The other international standard-setting organisations referenced by the SPS Agreement are the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). The IPPC mandate and work programme address IAS and the protection of biodiversity. The CAC is not involved in this field.
Biodiversity – Codex Alimentarius Commission – Convention on Biological Diversity – International Plant Protection Convention – Invasive alien species – World Organisation for Animal Health – World Trade Organization.