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plant health

Protecting plants in the era of global change

Globalisation poses many challenges to plant health. The most obvious threat  comes from the ever-widening circulation of goods and services and the associated growth of trade and movement of people. Global trade is well recognised as one of the main drivers of biological invasions, which in turn are threats to biodiversity and plant health. Biological invasions often consist of organisms having parasitic or competitive relationships with cultivated plants or autochthonous plant communities. The impact of biological invasions can be exacerbated by climate change, which is altering the distribution and life cycle of plant pests and diseases. The recent examples of Xylella fastidiosa, the pine wood nematode or the stink bug show the severe economic, environmental and social damage that invasive pests can cause. These cases demonstrate the importance of pest and commodity risk assessment, pest prioritisation, horizon scanning, early detection and surveillance. In this session, we will explore how threats associated with global change can be managed within a policy context framed by the EU Green Deal and SDGs. Specifically, we will look at how scientific, technological and social progress can support this epochal challenge, and the importance of international and scientific cooperation in finding common, collaborative solutions to current and emerging plant health threats.

Session Coordinator

Session coordinator
Ciro Gardi (EFSA)

Session Contributors

Session contributors
Jesús Barreiro-Hurle (JRC)
Ana-Cristina Cardoso (JRC)
Eugenio Gervasini (JRC)
Andrea Maiorano (EFSA)
Emilio Rodriguez-Cerezo (JRC)
Sara Tramontini (EFSA)


Abstract Session Chairpersons
  • Claude Bragard, University of Louvain
  • Ana-Cristina Cardoso, Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Abstract Session Speakers
  • Helen Elizabeth Roy, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology - Predicting the future risk of biological invasions to plant health
  • Anna Berlin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) - Fungal plant diseases and food security -in the cereal rusts perspective 
  • Prasanna Boddupalli, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) - Tackling transboundary plant health threats: Fall armyworm case study 
  • Pieter Beck, Joint Research Centre (JRC-ISPRA) - Can remote sensing help us understand forest health in Europe?
  • Sarah Brunel, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - Tackling the protection of plants at the source: placing people at the center
  • Lorenzo Marini, University of Padova
  • Victoria Isabella Valenzi, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Abstract Session Moderators
  • Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications
Abstract Session Panellists
  • Dorothée André, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (European Commission)
  • Gianluca Brunori, University of Pisa
  • Elizabete Marchante, University of Coimbra
  • Max Schulman, Copa/Cogeca
  • Rob Tanner, European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO)
Abstract Session Rapporteurs
  • Ciro Gardi, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  
  • Alice Delbianco, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Patricia Nascimento, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Maria Chiara Rosace, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
  • Evgenia Sarakatsani, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)