Proposals will contribute to understanding the drivers of emergence and to finding adequate responses to emerging pests and diseases in plants (work on Xylella fastidiosa is excluded under this call topic) and emerging infectious diseases in terrestrial animals. They will target one or more of the pests and diseases threatening EU agriculture/forestry (regulated or non-regulated, invasive or native) and causing significant economic losses, such as African Swine Fever. The choice of target species should consider the potential threat in terms of development and spread as well as potential impact on agricultural production, public health, or trade. Proposals should increase knowledge on the biology, development and spread of pests/diseases. They should improve methods and strategies for risk assessment, prevention and containment and enlarge the range of tools for integrated and sustainable pest/disease management. International cooperation with countries affected or threatened by the same pest(s)/disease(s) is encouraged. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[[See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction to this Work Programme part.]] and be based on the active participation of stakeholders from research, plant/animal health authorities and the farming and business sectors. Partners from non-EU regions particularly affected by the targeted pests and disease(s) should also be involved. As regards livestock, proposals should contribute as appropriate to the objectives of the STAR-IDAZ[[http://www.star-idaz.net/]] international research consortium (see SFS-12-2016). They should involve cooperation as appropriate with relevant initiatives, e.g. in the context of such as EUPHRESCO and STAR-IDAZ, and other funded projects in this field, e.g. those selected under SFS-14-2016.
Individual proposals should tackle either plant pests/diseases or animal infectious diseases. Funding will allow for support for up to two projects on plant pests/diseases and one animal diseases.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Trade and the movement of goods and people have facilitated the transfer and spread of plant and animal diseases and pests, the prevalence of which is expected to increase further as a result of intensification, changes in agricultural practices and climatic variations. Emerging diseases and pests in plants or emerging infectious diseases in terrestrial animals can have a substantial impact on agricultural and forest productivity, trade and public health. African Swine Fever is such a highly infectious animal disease emerging in Europe, with an epidemiological situation raising serious concerns and for which a vaccine would be very useful to improve its control. Appropriate and rapid responses by decision-makers need to be informed by scientific evidence, addressing as far as possible all components of management in particular with regard to epidemiology (e.g. source, transmissibility, susceptible species), host-pathogen interactions, diagnostics, means of prevention and control, as well as risk management.
Knowledge and solutions generated by this action should contribute to:
- understanding drivers for pest/disease emergence
- improved management of pests/diseases by the farming and forestry sectors;
- development of environmentally sound tools for the prevention, detection and diagnosis, of pests/diseases;
- reduction of economic losses by the farming and forestry sectors;
- improved food quality and food safety; and
- implementation of EU plant and animal health policies.
In the longer term, project outputs will help the agricultural sector to remain productive and contribute to food security.