The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) will celebrate its 60th anniversary during its annual Council Session in Bonn (Germany) on 2011-09-20/21.
EPPO is an intergovernmental organization responsible for cooperation between its members for protection of plants against pests, including diseases and weeds. Founded in 1951 by 15 European countries, EPPO now has 50 members, covering almost all countries of the European and Mediterranean region as well as some Central Asian countries. Its objectives are to protect plants, the environment and contribute to food security, to develop international strategies against the introduction and spread of dangerous pests, including diseases and weeds from other parts of the world and to promote safe and effective control methods. EPPO also participates in global discussions on plant health organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). By producing a large number of standards, databases and publications concerning plant pests, phytosanitary regulations, and plant protection products, EPPO helps its members in their efforts to protect plant health in agriculture, forestry and the uncultivated environment.
One of EPPO’s main priorities is to give prompt information and alert to National Plant Protection Organizations to prevent the introduction from other parts of the world of such pests which could damage crops or the environment, and to limit their spread within the region.
EPPO has been successful in keeping many pests such as Citrus canker, citrus greening or Xylella fastidiosa (e.g. causing Pierce’s disease on grapevine) out of the region, thus allowing continued production of citrus fruits and wine in the European and Mediterranean region.
EPPO’s activities also aim to ensure effective protection of our forests by preventing the introduction of very dangerous pests such as Dendroctonus ponderosae (Mountain pine beetle) which is destroying large areas of pine forests in Western North America.
Over the last decades, changes happening in crop protection practices, and in particular the removal of many plant protection products from the market in many European countries, are causing considerable problems in agriculture and it is becoming increasingly difficult to control specific pests in a satisfactory way. In addition, the increase of global trade is recognized as playing an important role in the emergence of new pests.
EPPO has decided to mark its 60th anniversary by organizing a scientific Colloquium during its Council Session on “Plant protection and plant health-links, interactions and future challenges”. Key speakers from FAO, European Commission (EC), European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and EPPO member countries will give presentations on the following issues: What are the important links or interactions between plant health and plant protection today? What will be these interactions in the future? What is the impact of different management options (preventing entry, eradicating, controlling, containing, and living with a pest)? How can plant health better contribute to integrated pest management concept?
The purpose of the Colloquium is to prepare recommendations on these issues, and identify future activities for EPPO in the fields of plant health and crop protection.