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COUNCIL DECISION of 25 January 1999 adopting a specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration on quality of life and management of living resources (1998 to 2002)
(1999/167/EC)

(v) Sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and integrated development of rural areas including mountain areas

Objectives and RTD priorities

The aim is to develop knowledge and technologies for the production and exploitation of living resources, including forests, covering the whole production chain, taking into account the highly competitive international context and in the light of the need for adaptation to the evolution of the common agricultural and fisheries policies, while also providing the scientific basis for Community regulations and standards, and to promote the multifunctional role of forests and the sustainable management and utilisation of forest resources as an integral factor of rural development. The priority areas are as follows:

- new and sustainable systems of production, including breeding methods, and exploitation in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, taking into account profitability, the sustainable management of resources, product quality and employment as well as animal health and welfare,

RTD priorities:

- for agriculture: sustainable farm production systems and methods and corresponding ex-ante and ex-post control and analysis; diversification of production and activities; support to Community policies on plant health (prevention and prediction of, protection against plant diseases and harmful organisms), animal health (prevention, control, eradication of major diseases and zoonoses) and animal welfare; identification and characterisation of the quality of agrofood products and agricultural farm-processed products and farm-processing technologies; definition of parameters, specifications, methods, forms of organisation and technologies for total quality; organic farming systems; plant and animal breeding, including relevant application-oriented genome research, and diversity of genetic resources,

- for fisheries: support to integrated fishery management linking resource conservation, means of capture, interactions with ecosystems, market requirements and socioeconomic considerations; identification and characterisation of the quality of marine products and technologies; development of new concepts for the sustainable use of marine and aquatic living resources,

- for aquaculture: sustainable production systems with the reduction of impact on ecosystems and diversification of cultivated species (both plant and animal); improvement of production techniques; genetic improvement; disease resistance and control,

- integrated production and exploitation of biological materials for non-food uses

This will cover integrated production and processing chains with the emphasis on end-use and market requirements.

RTD priorities: industrial products from the green chemical, biopolymers and bioenergy integrated chains,

- sustainable and multipurpose utilisation of forest resources; the integrated forestry-wood chain

This encompasses sustainable management and multiple use of European forest resources, in harmony with the political, environmental and social needs, bringing economic growth and employment to rural and coastal areas.

RTD priorities: support to policy issues; multifunctional and sustainable management of forests combining quality production and new and improved technologies with conservation and environmental protection, including protection of forests soils and protection against natural hazards (e.g. forest fires); diversification (non-wood uses including recreational uses, agro-sylvo-pastoral systems). Forests ecosystems biodiversity and genetic improvement. Strategies for sustainable management and multipurpose utilisation of forest resources; the forestry-wood chain; efficient, environment-friendly processes and recycling technologies; high value-added and diversified products accounting for market needs, and consumer requirements,

- development of methods of control, surveillance and protection, including protection of land and prevention of soil erosion

The aim is to support the sound implementation of the common agricultural and fisheries policies and related activities. This research may also be useful to the Community in the context of international trade negotiations and of dispute settlements in the framework of WTO, in the area of agriculture.

RTD priorities: reliable, transparent and cost-effective methods of monitoring, assessment and control,

- pre-legislative research designed to provide a scientific basis for Community legislation

The aim is to provide support for Community regulations by prenormative research activities.

RTD priorities: prenormative research to provide the scientific basis for regulations in the context of the common agricultural and fisheries policies,

- new tools and models for the integrated and sustainable development of rural and other relevant areas

This approach is based on optimisation of the specific potential of each area, including at regional level, the diversification of activities and land use and the involvement of the people concerned.

RTD priorities: analysis of the situation and changes under way, taking into account the relationships between all the sectors involved and the factors influencing technological and socioeconomic changes; multifunctional land use and landscape management as related to important ecosystems and habitats taking also into account aspects relating to cultural heritage; diversification and job opportunities; development of the .integrated rural and fishery development' concept, with the investigation of potentials and constraints, the elaboration of new models and tools, including for spatial planning and the improvement of the organisational capacity of local actors; support to follow-up and evaluation of rural and coastal development programmes and policies with tools to monitor, assess and forecast socioeconomic and environmental benefit.

(vi) The ageing population and disabilities

Objectives and RTD priorities

This key action aims to help Europe meet the challenge of the growing ageing population through RTD to underpin the development of policies and interventions to extend the quality of life and independence of older people, and to reduce the need for long-term care and its consequential costs. It gives priority to multidisciplinary RTD relating to processes leading to healthy ageing, including demographic, social and economic aspects, and to interventions leading to the postponement and improved management of disability. It aims to generate competitive advantage for a wide range of health-related industries and sectors. Priority areas include:

- RTD on illnesses, disabilities and health problems with high morbidity, which are age-related and where there is a real prospect of significant prevention, treatment or delay in onset

RTD priorities: studies on age-related diseases and disorders in the older population (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's diseases, etc.); physiology and pathophysiology of ageing and disability; co-morbidity studies,

- RTD into biological, psychological, social and economic determinants of healthy ageing and of the mechanisms leading to disability and the postponement of disability

RTD priorities: cellular and molecular bases of ageing; genetic predisposition; immunology of ageing; basic biological and psychological mechanisms underlying age-related changes (including occupational and genetic effects); model studies and model diseases for specific ageing processes; biomarkers; endocrine, neurocrine and metabolic factors of ageing; psychological implications of ageing,

- demographic and epidemiological RTD into ageing and disability trends to enable prediction of the size and nature of the ageing population as a basis for policy and planning

RTD priorities: clinical trials; analysis and quantification of demographic, medical, sociological, lifestyle (including exercise, mobility and nutrition) and environmental factors; prevention; methodology linked to collection of specific data,

- RTD into new approaches to delaying the onset of disability, to reducing the challenge to older people of their social and physical environment, including the design and development of products and services adapted to their needs (e.g. in housing, transport and leisure) and to supporting mental and physical functioning

RTD priorities: methodology relating to quality of life, social integration and coping mechanisms; technologies contributing to less dependency; research on sensory degenerations; psychomotor, sensory and cognitive impairments; rehabilitation and replacement therapies; intervention assessment studies; assessment and quantification of needs and design/development of competitive and adapted products and services,

- RTD into effective and efficient delivery of health and social care services to older people, including comparative research on the financing of long term care and pensions

RTD priorities: healthcare outcome research for elderly and disabled, research into specific health services and social care services, as well as into healthcare services organisation; efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery for the elderly; impact of ageing on the evolution and financing of care systems, notably for long term care, and of pensions.

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