This project will support Community policies for sustainable agriculture by providing a harmonised European approach for indicators of the overall risk of pesticides. It will integrate European scientific expertise on the use, emissions, environmental fate, and the impact of pesticides on agro-ecosystems and human health, in order to develop improved indicators which address the limitations of existing approaches. The main deliverable of the project is a set of harmonised environmental and human health risk indicators, provided in an easy to use software package. The proposed tool will include methods to predict environmental fate and exposure, and the resulting acute and chronic risks for aquatic and terrestrial organisms, for groundwater, for public health and for applicators of the pesticides. Consistent database structures will be developed for soil, climate, land use, agricultural practice, pesticide use and ecotoxicological data, to enable harmonised use of the indicators by all EU member states and candidate states. State-of-the art methods will be used to extrapolate from test animals to humans and wildlife, and the indicators will include chronic risks based on sub-lethal effects as well as acute risks. The project will use existing datasets to systematically evaluate the validation status of the indicators, including information gathered by regional and national organisations. The indicator outputs will be available on different scales, providing high resolution results at the catchment/regional level, taking account of local conditions of soil, climate etc; and also aggregated and integrated results at the European level. The indicators will provide new and powerful assessment tools for monitoring and managing the overall risks of pesticides. This will contribute directly to Agenda 2000 aims for sustainable agriculture, and to the 6th Environment Action Programme's Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products'.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project