Proposals will target one or more new or emerging plant pests and/or diseases (regulated or non-regulated, introduced or native) that are causing, or likely to cause, significant (socio-)economic and/or environmental losses to EU agriculture/forestry. The choice of target pest and/or disease will consider the potential threat in terms of development and spread, its potential exacerbation under climate change as well as the potential impact on agricultural production, forestry, trade and the wider environment. Proposals will increase knowledge of the biology, pathways of entry and spread of pests/diseases. They will improve methods and strategies for early detection, prevention and control as well as enlarge the range of tools for integrated, sustainable and effective 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 of this Work Programme part.]] including a range of actors to ensure that knowledge and needs from various sectors such as research, plant health services and the farming/forestry sector are brought together.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Trade and the movement of goods and people have facilitated the introduction, spread and establishment of plant pests and diseases. While new pests and diseases are likely to arise, existing ones might become more severe as a result of intensification, climatic variations and changes in agricultural and forest management practices. They can have a significant impact on agricultural and forest productivity. Appropriate and rapid responses from decision-makers need to be informed by scientific knowledge which addresses pest and disease management in a comprehensive manner.
Activities will contribute to finding adequate responses to new and/or emerging plant pests/diseases. More specifically knowledge and solutions generated by these actions will contribute to:
- the understanding of drivers of plant pest/disease emergence including the influence of climate change;
- the development of efficient tools for the prevention, detection and control of pests/diseases;
- the development of environmentally sound solutions for effective pest/disease management in farming and forestry in line with the principles of Integrated Pest Management;
- the reduction of economic, social and/or environmental losses for the EU;
- support for relevant EU plant health policies.
In the longer term, project outputs will help the agricultural/forestry sector to remain productive and contribute to sustainable agriculture and/or forest health.