History and Structure
The Commission on the Harmonisation of Invertebrate Biological Control Agents (CHIBCA) was first established in 2003 with Franz Bigler as Convenor. He was succeeded by Jeff Bale (2006-2014) and by Josep A. Jaques (2014-). The Commission had 6 members originally (F. Bigler, Claude Alabouvette, Horst Bathon, Sylvia Blümel, Josep A. Jaques, and Joop C. van Lenteren) but also invited other scientists to attend meetings. Following the end of the EU-funded REBECA project in 2007 (see activities), CHIBCA was ‘reactivated’ with a primary role of representing IOBC in a joint panel on Biological Control Agents (BCA) with EPPO to review and update the ‘Positive List’ of ‘safe’ biological control agents, and to take on other activities as appropriate. Most of the scientists who served as IOBC-WPRS members in the joint EPPO/IOBC panel on BCA were also nominated by their countries as representatives.
At present five colleagues in addition to convenor and liaison-officer are representing both their country and IOBC-WPRS in the panel (Jana Collatz, Patrick De Clercq, Annette Herz, Antoon Loomans and Marek Tomalak).
In winter 2003, Franz Bigler was contacted by the EU-DG Research and a meeting was held in early 2004 to discuss the idea of launching a policy support activity on the harmonized regulation of invertebrate biocontrol agents. The Commission first met in Zurich, Switzerland in July 2004 and its activities were suspended during the REBECA project. Based on a recommendation from REBECA, EPPO and IOBC agreed to establish a joint panel (https://www.eppo.int/ABOUT_EPPO/panel_composition/pm_biocontrol) which met for the first time in March 2008 in Wageningen. Since then, the panel has met every year.
Participants at the joint EPPO/IOBC panel on BCA in Moscow (Russia), October 2017:
Participants at the joint EPPO/IOBC panel on BCA in Engelberg (Switzerland), March 2009:
As a result of the CHIBCA and REBECA activities, collaboration between EPPO and IOBC-WPRS was established. The IOBC CHIBCA members have contributed effectively to the joint panel and the following achievements have been made:
The annual update of the List of EPPO Standards – PM 6 Safe use of biological control (https://www.eppo.int/RESOURCES/eppo_standards/pm6_biocontrol)
- The Standard on Import and Release of Non-Indigenous Biological Control Agents, EPPO Standard PM 6/2(3), published in 2010 and further revised in 2014, EPPO Standard PM 6/2(3) (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/epp.12153)
- The standard on the Decision-Support Scheme for Import and Release of Biological Control Agents of Plant Pests, EPPO Standard PM6/04(1) was published in 2018 (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/epp.12495).
- CHIBCA and the safety of biological control. General Assembly 2017, Riva del Garda, Italy. Download: Presentation (pdf)