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Saturday 29 April 2017
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TC: New and Emerging Plant Health

Overall educational project objective
The training courses aim to cover the key elements in the identification of new and emerging plant health risks using specific examples from forestry, agriculture and horticulture.

Overall project objective
The proposed training programme will cover all the topics listed in the call for tender. We will cover the key elements in the identification of new and emerging plant health risks using specific examples from forestry, agriculture and horticulture. This will include the international framework and EU legislation, and outline the likely key elements of the new Plant Health Regulation which is currently being developed. The role of the Commission, EFSA, EPPO and NPPOs in the assessment and mitigation of risk associated with new pest threats will also be explained. Monitoring checks and specific surveillance programmes will also be covered, along with surveillance strategies and methods because these activities are key to identifying new and emerging risks. We will present information on a range of the most important new pests and diseases currently threatening the Community. The programme will also include a review of relevant data sources such as EUROPHYT, TRACES, outbreak notifications and trade data, and their relative value as a tool to identify new risks. Pest risk assessment underpins informed policy decision making, so the principles of PRA will be outlined.
The programme for each event will include a minimum ½ day field visit to a venue of topical interest. The purpose of these visits is to look at the practicalities of undertaking surveillance, survey work, detection and eradication control measures in a field situation. This will include
  • Observation of signs and symptoms of specific pests
  • Discussion of methods of detection  of specific pests
  • Review of outbreak and measures
  • Practical discussion on how to carry out inspection
  • Discussion of general surveillance and specific survey techniques and strategies
Learning objectives
The relentless expansion of trade in plants and plant products is leading to more numerous and diverse pathways for the introduction of non-native pests. In recent years many new pests have been introduced within the Community and the international movement of plants for planting, in particular, is now widely recognised as the most important source of introductions for non-native pests (e.g. Rhynchophorus ferrugineus and Anoplophora chinensis). The movement of wood, including wood packaging material and waste wood, is also recognised as important potential pathway especially for pests that live within the wood , such as long-horn beetles.
It is vital therefore that the Community is better prepared to identify potential future threats and to develop systems to better prevent entry and to deal more effectively with interceptions and outbreaks of new pests.
The new Plant Health Regulation that is currently being developed will both attempt to better identify new and emerging risks, so as to enable the adoption of controls to afford greater protection against entry, and in the event of introduction, to ensure a prompt and effective response via eradication and containment. Indeed, there will be a greater obligation on Member States to take eradication measures against new pests, including the establishment of demarcated areas. There will also be greater emphasis on general surveillance for new harmful organisms within the EU. This will help ensure the earlier identification of new pest threats so that measures to reduce risk to an acceptable level are taken more promptly. There will also be a greater focus on contingency planning to ensure Member States are better prepared in terms of dealing effectively with future pest outbreaks.
The new EU regime also recognises that a more precautionary approach towards plants for planting is needed. It will enable temporary measures to be taken on plants for planting from third countries where the trade is likely to pose previously unidentified risks and for which there is limited experience with trade. These measures may include the imposition of a post-entry quarantine period or even a temporary prohibition to allow for a pest risk assessment (PRA) to be undertaken on the new trade. A process for identifying new high risk trades will therefore need to be developed.
A wide range of different staff will need to develop new skills. This will include: officials from competent authorities within NPPOs involved in the planning and coordinating of control activities; field inspectors involved in control activities; scientists involved in risk assessment; and diagnosticians involved in pest identification.
The purpose of the training will be to increase knowledge and common understanding of the best practices to identify and mitigate against new and emerging pest threats. Also, to increase awareness of the likely changes that will be brought about by the introduction of the new Plant Health Regulation. A key element will be more effective early identification of new pest threats together with a much greater onus on Member States to deal more effectively with outbreaks, through a combination of improved surveillance to allow early detection, greater contingency planning and more effective phytosanitary measures. Each Member State therefore has an important role to play in ensuring that these objectives are achieved. A key element of the training will be to not only make delegates aware of best practice but emphasise how vital it is that a common approach is adopted throughout the Community.
Our Training Courses
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Plant Health Controls | Plant Protection Products | Risk Assessment | Food Contact Materials | Microbiological criteria in Foodstuffs | Food-borne outbreaks investigation | TC 1+3+7: Fishery Products and bivalve molluscs | TC 2: Pesticides | TC 4: Food Hygiene and Control | TC 5: Contaminants | TC 6: Risk assessment | TC: New and Emerging Plant Health  | Regional Workshop on Fishery Products | Regional Workshop on Food hygiene and control
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