Appendix 3 – Reports on EPPO workshops and conferences in 2009
EPPO Workshop on Carrot Fly (Psila rosae) (Lelystad, NL, 2009-02-02/04)
Carrot fly (Psila rosae) is a serious and widespread pest. It causes most damage to carrots, but can also affect the roots of related crops such as parsnip, celery and parsley. Pest management systems have been developed to tackle this problem: these require a clear understanding of the biology and activity of the pest (which has up to 3 generations per year depending on growing latitude), and effective use of intervention and cultural control methods. Over the forthcoming years, the effectiveness of control strategies is likely to be reduced by the removal of plant protection products currently available on the market.
There were 42 participants from 11 EPPO countries at the EPPO workshop, including delegates from research institutions, national regulatory bodies, agricultural advisory organizations, agrochemical companies, seed production companies, and carrot breeders’ and growers’ representatives.
The aim of this ad hoc workshop was to share the latest information on the biology and life cycle of P. rosae; explore current and potential strategies to control carrot fly; share perspectives on the carrot fly situation and control systems in other EPPO countries; learn from the experiences of others; identify issues facing growers; recommend the key components of current best practice strategy for integrated and sustainable carrot fly management; and discuss and identify future requirements and research necessary to support the development and implementation of successful control strategies.
EPPO Workshop on Eradication, Containment and Contingency planning (Nova Gorica, SI, 2009-02-10/12)
NPPOs face the challenge of how to respond rapidly and effectively to pest outbreaks. Often they are successful and succeed in eradicating the pest. Sometimes it takes more time and resources than first anticipated, and in certain cases the original objectives of the eradication campaign may need to be reviewed.
Several EPPO members are developing contingency plans for pests which may cause a major economic and/or environmental impact. EPPO responded to this trend by developing the Standard Generic elements for contingency plans. Also, new standards for important pests are developed in the series PM 9 National regulatory control systems. This should assist EPPO members to draft their own pest-specific contingency plans.
The increased emphasis on eradication and contingency planning in EPPO’s work programme should also contribute to the EU project PRATIQUE, in particular the task to develop a decision support system for the eradication and containment of pest outbreaks (WP5). In order to collect and exchange experiences of eradication, a workshop was organized for those involved in eradication campaigns or contingency planning in their country. Participants also considered whether the new EPPO Standard on contingency plans is complete in listing all important generic elements which should be part of a contingency plan.
Fifty-two experts from 25 countries participated in the workshop. Several experts involved in PRATIQUE-WP5 also participated, which provided an excellent opportunity for risk managers and scientists to exchange experiences and discuss the necessary tools to support member countries in eradication campaigns.
EPPO Workshop on the Development of Principles for Comparative Assessment in the Framework of Substitution (Brussels, 2009-05-06/07)
The workshop met in light of the EU regulations concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market which were to come into force later in the year1, repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC. From this point onwards, whenever a plant protection product contains an active substance that has been identified as a candidate for substitution, EU Member States will need to perform comparative assessment when evaluating an application for authorization. An EPPO Workshop was held in Brussels on 2009-05-06/07 in order to:
- • define how to perform comparative assessment and substitution in practice, in relation to the new regulations
- • identify the areas where further guidance is needed for the implementation of the new regulations
- • determine how EPPO as a scientific and technical organization may assist its member countries in implementing the new regulations
- • determine the effects of new EU regulations on other non-EU EPPO countries
- • define the implications for existing EPPO standards and the need for drafting new standards.
A total of 61 participants attended the workshop, the majority being officials from the national regulatory authorities of 17 EPPO countries. The other participants were representatives of crop protection companies, the European Crop Protection Association, the European Commission, the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations–General Committee for Agricultural Cooperation in the European Union (COPA-COGECA), and farmers’ unions.
The workshop provided an overview of the current situation regarding implementation of the new European Regulation for the approval of plant protection products, outlining the key changes in scope of the Regulation, including Comparative Assessment. Presentations focused on:
- • the possible impact of the new criteria, including Comparative Assessment, on the availability of currently available active substances
- • the experience of the Swedish Chemicals Agency in conducting Comparative Assessments for issuing authorizations for plant protection
- • the viewpoint of European farmers on the context of Comparative Assessment, with particular respect to the issues of IPM compatibility, resistance management and minor uses
- • the potential consequences of changing the portfolio of available plant protection products in regard to phytosanitary issues
- • an overview of the range of biological solutions that are currently available to complement chemical control in agricultural systems.
The workshop resulted in recommendations regarding further work to develop guidance for conducting Comparative Assessment, considering the risk of developing resistance and the impact on pest control possibilities for minor uses.
EPPO Conference on Diagnostics (York, GB, 2009-05-10/15)
EPPO organized a Conference on Diagnostics in cooperation with the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) in York. This Conference followed in the sequence of EPPO Conferences on new methods of diagnosis in plant protection, previously held in Netherlands in 1985, 1994, 2000 and 2004. This Conference was attended by more than 140 participants from 29 countries (including non-EPPO countries: USA, Uganda, Peru, New Zealand). Most participants were experts in the diagnosis of plant pests, but representatives of EU organizations and private companies were also present. The following sessions were organized:
- • a general session covering various topics related to diagnostics, in particular of viruses and bacteria
- • a session on DNA barcoding and sequence-based detection; the use of these techniques for diagnostics was presented as well as the recently launched European project Quarantine Barcoding of Life (QBOL), which aims to develop new diagnostic tools to identify quarantine pests
- • a session on novel detection methods, including sound detectors and satellite imagery on-site diagnostic tools (lateral flow devices)
- • a session on array-based systems and new molecular methods, where recent developments on genomic chips were presented
- • a session on quality systems for phytosanitary diagnostics, where accreditation processes and validation of tests were discussed.
A workshop on whole genome amplification (WGA). After presentations on WGA, participants could analyse their own genomic DNA samples.
A workshop on the implementation of the EPPO Standard PM 3/64 ‘Intentional import of organisms that are plant pests or potential plant pests’ and the EU directive 2008/61. It was emphasized that harmonization of containment conditions was important for research laboratories working in different disciplines, such as genetically modified organisms, biological control agents and quarantine pests. In addition, containment conditions should be risk-based.
Presentations were given on how EU Directive 2008/61 was implemented and how the guidance provided by PM 3/64 in this context was used.
A practical workshop on quality assurance for plant pest diagnostic laboratories followed on 2009-05-14/15 and consisted of practical sessions on method validation and organization of proficiency testing, metrology and practical design, and implementation of a quality management system.
EPPO Workshop ‘Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants’ (Ski, NO, 2009-06-04/05)
The EPPO Workshop in collaboration with the Council of Europe on the Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants gathered 40 participants from 19 countries.
EPPO and the Council of Europe have jointly drafted a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants for European and Mediterranean countries. In Europe, it is estimated that 80% of invasive alien plants are voluntarily introduced for ornamental purposes, and international trade is increasing yearly. This major pathway must be addressed urgently to prevent entry and spread of invasive alien plants as, at present, few legislation and management programmes are in place. Voluntary measures to tackle the problem and raise awareness among the horticultural sector and the public are therefore considered a priority. This Code of conduct provides essential information for governments and the horticultural and landscape sectors on regulation concerning invasive alien plants, plant waste disposal, labelling of plants, proposing alternative plants, publicity, etc. This new and promising initiative now requires promotion and implementation within countries.
This workshop was an opportunity to hear the professionals’ opinions on this initiative through the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), as well as the NPPOs’ views. Lessons were learnt on how such a Code of conduct has been implemented in North America. Initiatives taken in the European and Mediterranean region were also presented (for example, from Belgium, France, Italy, UK, Spain, Sweden). The workshop resulted in a recommendation on how to draft and implement national codes of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants. This recommendation is addressed to governments and NPPOs, the horticultural sector and international organizations.
EPPO Council Colloquium ‘Increasing trade, changing climate, emerging pests: Is the plant health sector prepared?’ (Angers, FR, 2009-09-24)
After the administrative session of the EPPO Council, which took place in Angers (2009-09-22/23), a Colloquium was organized to discuss the following theme: ‘Increasing trade, changing climate, emerging pests: Is the plant health sector prepared?’ More than 50 participants from 33 countries attended this Colloquium.
The following topics were presented:
- • the current philosophy of plant health in Europe, its advantages and disadvantages, and possibilities for improvement of the current plant health system
- • the high risks presented by the trade of plants for planting, illustrated by the ever-growing list of Phytophthora species emerging in many parts of the world, affecting woody plants in nurseries and natural environments
- • based on interception reports and recent pest introductions, it was shown that imports of ornamentals and woody plants are risky pathways
- • views about possible improvements of the current plant health system were presented, in particular to avoid the entry and spread of new pests; the role of nurseries and the importance of their collaboration with NPPOs; importance of certification schemes to produce healthy planting material; strengthening diagnostic capacity and harmonization of diagnostic protocols; and the necessity for NPPOs to act rapidly when confronted with new outbreaks.
Discussions continued in small groups, and the following questions were addressed: Is the European plant health system robust enough to deal with the challenges of increasing trade and changing climate? Is the emergence of new pests a consequence of failures of the current plant health system? How could the plant health system be improved further? The participants made detailed proposals on how plant health systems could be improved in the EPPO region, on how NPPOs and nurseries in both exporting and importing countries should work together, and on how EPPO could contribute to these future improvements. In particular, there was agreement that the risk-based approach should continue to be used when establishing plant health strategies, and that early warning and rapid phytosanitary actions were essential when faced with new outbreaks. Concerns were expressed about the consequences of the decreasing number of registered plant protection products available for controlling pest outbreaks. It was also recognized that communication should be facilitated between all stakeholders (NPPOs, growers, traders, the general public) when new outbreaks were discovered. The development of codes of conduct (for example, for nurseries or traders) to prevent the entry and spread of pests might be a possibility that remains to be explored. The Colloquium also considered that the development of ‘horizontal safeguards’ (for example, general requirements for soil or plants for planting) should be enhanced both at European and global level (i.e. an ISPM for plants for planting).
It was concluded that the preliminary conclusions of this Colloquium should continue to be discussed within the EPPO bodies (Executive Committee, Working Parties and Panels).
EPPO Workshop for Phytosanitary Inspectors (Vilnius, 2009-11-10/12)
More than 50 participants from 23 countries participated in the workshop to exchange information and experience on inspections of wood packaging material (WPM) and implementation of ISPM 15, post-import inspections and the phytosanitary security of consignments after the issuance of phytosanitary certificates. At the opening of the workshop, the importance of the work achieved by the phytosanitary inspectors, which is at the basis of the whole plant health system, was emphasized. The EPPO information services, the preparation of EPPO’s inspection standards, and the general contents and requirements of ISPM 15 were presented.
Participants explained how inspections of WPM were carried out and how ISPM 15 was being implemented in their countries. Information was exchanged on:
- • phytosanitary inspections which are performed on imported consignments accompanied with WPM (for example, how to target inspections; how to perform inspections at seaports, airports, border crossings and railway stations; which measures should be taken in cases of non-compliance)
- • production of ISPM 15-compliant WPM at national level (for example, registration and inspection of WPM-producing companies, wood treatment methods used, calibration of treatment equipment, measures taken in cases of non-compliance).
The workshop concluded that the harmonization of measures taken in cases of non-compliance with ISPM 15 was necessary. It also stressed that better collaboration is needed between NPPOs and shippers to improve compliance of WPM with ISPM 15.
Presentations and discussions also took place on post-import inspections (at place of destination and after customs clearance). The advantages and disadvantages of post-import inspections were illustrated with the cases of Bemisia tabaci and Anoplophora species, found on imports in the United Kingdom and Netherlands, respectively. Finally, inspectors exchanged views on how NPPOs could ensure the phytosanitary security of consignments after the issuance of phytosanitary certificates. This topic was illustrated with the example of a system using seals which has recently been developed by the Polish NPPO, in close collaboration with customs, to ensure that consignments could not be altered after phytosanitary certification. This system is being implemented on the basis of a bilateral agreement with one importing country. During the discussions, it was explained that in Russia and Ukraine, consignments intended to be exported from regions other than the region of production are accompanied by an internal ‘quarantine certificate’. The export certificate is issued at the place of export, on the basis of this document and an additional inspection immediately before export. The workshop considered that security systems cannot be developed for all types of consignment, and that a risk-based approach was necessary.