Joint EFSA-EPPO Workshop on ‘Data collection and information sharing in plant health’

Parma, Italy, 1-3 April 2014


A joint EFSA/EPPO Workshop took place at EFSA headquarters in Parma, from 1-3 April to discuss ‘Data collection and information sharing in plant health’. More than 130 participants from national plant protection organizations, research institutes, universities, international organizations, and stakeholders from agriculture and industry participated in the workshop. More than 35 lectures were delivered and 40 posters presented.


From the discussions, it was clear that data collection and information sharing is a key issue in plant health, as central activities such as surveillance, pest risk assessment, and policy-making, rely on the availability of valid and sound data. Many challenges were identified, such as the availability and reliability of data, harmonization of data, the rapid development of new communication tools, and data sharing not only between IT systems but among stakeholders. However, it was also noted that much progress is taking place in the field of data collection and sharing, and that new tools (models, media monitoring, citizen science) are being developed and should be further explored, as these are likely to open new avenues for improvement. This was the first joint meeting between EPPO and EFSA. Both organizations considered the workshop a success and agreed to work closely together.

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Workhop conclusions

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Session 1 – Advanced methods and strategies for surveillance and data collection 
Harmonised guidelines on surveillance (random/targeting, general/monitoring) are needed. 
A comprehensive inventory of survey methods for quarantine pests will be available soon (outcome of the EFSA Perseus project).
As resources are limited, it is necessary to increase the efficiency of surveys (e.g. optimise survey design, maximise survey performance to minimise costs). 
The availability of advanced methods/strategies for surveillance and reporting can increase survey efficiency (e.g. web-based traps/automated spore trapping/mobile tools for data collection). 
Surveillance networks for pesticides and unregulated/common plant pests are examples that may be used for quarantine pests.
Interaction between databases is a challenging issue.


Session 2 – Modelling tools to forecast pest distributions, emergence and invasion patterns
Pathway modelling on pest entry also highlights “what we don’t know”.
Increased insights on pest biology can result in control cost savings.
Open databases on climate, crops and pest distributions (e.g. crop and yield forecasting systems) are useful.
As access to quality geo-referenced pest occurrence data is limited, there is a need for a common geo-referenced database which could be used in plant pest modelling.
A comprehensive review of quantitative models for spread of plant pests can provide a decision support system for PRA modelling.
Pest risk assessment methodology should be better linked to sound basic ecology.


Session 3 – Data collection and information sharing for PRA
PRA aims to protect the territory and provides evidence to risk managers, which should be fit for purpose. 
Communication of PRA outcome is important.
Research is needed to back up PRAs. 
Evidence and uncertainties should be evaluated and presented carefully during PRA.
PRA is interdisciplinary and different impacts need to be evaluated (economic, environmental, social).
Prioritisation for PRAs needs to involve stakeholders.


Session 4 – Early warning tools in plant health
Early warning is essential in plant health. Currently, it is mainly based on data mining done by plant health experts. 
It is important to identify drivers for emerging risks as well as the risks themselves.
News tools for data collection such as citizen science and media monitoring are available and should continue to be explored.
It is essential to keep a critical eye on data collected (both on quality and appropriate analysis). 
Presentation of data to the users is important.
Data collection for early warning helps in identifying what is needed for PRAs and in fine tuning phytosanitary actions. 


Session 5 – Pest reporting, databases and information exchange systems
Information from pest reports can be sensitive and may be owned.
What is found (and confidence in negative results) depends partly on efforts spent in looking and the ease of finding the pest concerned.
International or regional standards should be used whenever possible (e.g. report pest status according to ISPM 8, use EPPO codes for pest/plant names).
Appropriate connections between people (who and how) are  crucial in making phytosanitary action happen.
Information needs to flow in both directions (sender, receiver), as feedback is needed.
It is often better to start with simple information systems and then make them evolve .
The use of tools for mobile devices should be further explored.




Session 1 - Advanced methods and strategies for surveillance and data collection
Chair:Mike Jeger (Imperial College, UK)

Surveillance for invading plant pathogens: the use of epidemic models to quantify performance and optimise survey design
Stephen Parnell, Rothamsted Research (UK)


Survey planning in Lombardy region
Mariangela Ciampitti, Plant Protection Service of Regione Lombardia, ERSAF (IT)


The French epidemiological surveillance network for plant health
Mélanie Picherot, Ministry of Agriculture (DGAL) (FR)


The EFSA PERSEUS Project: Plant health surveys for the EU territory: an analysis of data quality and methodologies and the resulting uncertainties for pest risk assessment 
Gritta Schrader, Julius Kuehn Institute (DE)


Could the methodologies used for the collection of pesticide usage statistics also be used to monitor the incidence and spread of plant pests?
David Garthwaite, Food and Environment Research Agency (GB)


Remote monitoring of plant-related insects using web-based camera traps
Fabio Chinellato, University of Padova  (IT)


An SMS based system for monitoring of progressive development of plant diseases: A pilot initiative for surveillance of wheat rusts in Turkey
Fazil Dusunceli, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)


Monitoring of airborne plant pathogens
Jonathan West, Rothamsted Research (UK)


Scientometric approaches in data collection for plant health
Marco Pautasso, Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH (CH)


Session 2 - Modelling tools to forecast pest distributions, emergence and invasion patterns
Chair: Trond Rafoss (Bioforsk, NO)

Learning from modeling pest introduction: what data is needed and is it available?
Bob Douma, Wageningen University (NL)


Physiologically based demographic models provide a guidance for identifying data needs and for guiding data collection in evidence-based pest risk assessment
Luigi Ponti, ENEA (IT)


Assessing the potential distribution of insect pests under current and future climatic conditions in European forests using host data
José Barredo, Joint Research Centre of the EU Commission (JRC)


Inventory and review of quantitative models for spread of plant pests for use in pest risk assessment for the EU territory
Steven White, NERC-Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (GB)


MARS JRC climate based crop and yield forecast system: resources and opportunities for pest risk assessment
Fabien Ramos, Joint Research Centre of EU Commission (JRC)


Selection and organization of life-history data for PRA: a mechanistic perspective
Gianni Gilioli, University of Brescia (IT)


Session 3 - Data collection and information sharing for PRA
Chair: Olaf Mosbach-Schulz (EFSA)

Challenges of data collection in Pest Risk Analysis
Françoise Petter, EPPO


Express Pest Risk Analysis in Germany – sharing information about new emerging pests with the plant protection services and the public
Gritta Schrader,Julius Kuehn Institute (DE)


Prioritizing pest risks and pest surveillance in the Netherlands
Dirk Jan van der Gaag, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NL)


Evaluation of evidence and its uncertainty in qualitative pest risk assessments
Marina Zlotina,USDA-APHIS-PPQ (US)


Managing data challenges for evidence-based policy making
Willem Roelofs, DEFRA (GB)


Research results in support of risk assessment and risk management
Giuseppe Stancanelli, EFSA


Session 4 - Early warning tools in plant health 
Chair: Françoise Petter (EPPO)

Citizen science and early detection: the example of first occurrences of the brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys in Italy
Lara Maistrello, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (IT)


EPPO data collection and early warning
Anne-Sophie Roy, EPPO


Development of an Early Warning System to anticipate emerging risks in Plant Health in the UK – ex ante assessment: proof of concept study
Villie Flari, Food and Environment Research Agency (GB)


Lessons learned from developing and implementing an early warning system to support U.S. safeguarding against exotic plant pests
Jennifer Fritz, Center for Integrated Pest Management (US)


Early warning survey and detection design in an outbreak area: Pine Wood Nematode case study
Gerardo Sánchez, Agriculture, Food and Environment Ministry (ES)


Media monitoring for emerging plant health risk
Agnes Rortais, EFSA


Session 5 – Pest reporting
Chair: Martin Ward (EPPO)

Pest reporting in the European Union
Steven Jones, European Commission, Food and Veterinary Office (FVO)


EPPO pest reporting and databases
Anne-Sophie Roy, EPPO


The right information to the right people at the right time – lessons from New Zealand’s emerging risk system
Melanie Newfield, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ)


Data collection, data sharing and pest reporting – tools used by the German Plant Protection Service
Katrin Kaminski, Julius Kuehn Institute (DE)


Session 6 – Databases and information exchange systems
Chair: Martin Ward (EPPO)

Acquisition and management of information in plant-georeferenced geographic information system of Emilia-Romagna region, Italy
Franco Finelli,Plant Protection Service of Emilia-Romagna Region (IT)


Facilitating information exchange on plant health through the Plantwise programme
Shaun Hobbs, CABI


V2P2repository: a “place” to store, search and share data from research on plant-microorganism-virus interactions
Marta Vallino, National Research Council (IT)


EFSA data warehouse: data collection and data access at EFSA
Stefano Cappé, EFSA




Development of a new open source research infrastructure network for agricultural data sharing
S. Abbà, M. Vallino, M. Ciuffo, P. Caciagli, G. Birello, A. Perin, I. Bianco, U. Finardi (CNR, IT)


Q-bank: Comprehensive databases on quarantine plant pests and diseases
E. Boer et al. (NPPO, NL)


Di@gnoPlant and VigiPl@nt tools: field level diagnosis, surveillance and detection of plant diseases using smartphone applications
J.M. Armand, M. Ohayon, T. Candresse, D. Blancard (INRA, FR)


Stepped-up surveillance for early detection of Anoplophora chinensis in Plantaregina district, a pest free area, specialised in full-size deciduous ornamental trees production 
M. Ciampitti, B. Cavagna, A. Bianchi, V. Cappa, S. Asti, A. Fumagalli (NPPO, IT)


Survey methodology and quality management of Anoplophora chinensis in Lombardy
A. Bianchi, S.Asti, A. Fumagalli, M. Ciampitti, B. Cavagna (NPPO, IT)


The application of UK Plant Health Information Warehouse
S. Elcock, S. Bishop (Fera, GB)


Quarantine pests interceptions in solid wood packing materials held by International Agricultural Surveillance (VIGIAGRO) at the Port of Santos, Brazil, 2009-2010
M. Meleiro, D.M. Esmeraldino da Silva, D.G. Braz Rocha (VIGIAGRO, BR)


PQR the EPPO database on quarantine pests
D. Griessinger, A.S. Roy (EPPO)


EPPO codes: a general overview
D. Griessinger, A.S. Roy (EPPO)


Testing two plant pest risk assessment schemes to support risk reduction decisions for the European Union: methodology used, data collection process and results obtained from application on a case study pest: Acidovorax citrulli
M. Holeva, H. Anderson, J. Smith, A. MacLeod (Benaki Phytopathological Institute (GR) & Fera (GB))


Ornamental pathways of entry of some pest species in Bulgaria: gaps in the data at national and international level
O. Karadjova, Z. Ilieva, E. Petrova, V. Krumov (Institute of Soil Science, Agrotechnology and Plant Protection, BG)


The Crop Protection Compendium: information for pest risk analysis
L.A. McGillivray, L.M.F. Charles, G.R. Richards (CABI)


Sources of phytosanitary information in Russia
M. Mironova (All-Russian Plant Quarantine Center, RU)


The plant health challenge of detecting cryptic small arthropods: lessons from mites invasive to Europe
M. Navajas, J.A. Jacas, F. Petter, S. Tramontini (INRA (FR), Universitat Jaume (ES), EPPO, EFSA)


The scheme of collecting, sharing and building information in planning surveys in the Hungarian plant health control system
G. Pataki, Z. Dancsházy (NPPO, HU)


Import of deciduous wood chips from eastern North America – pathway-initiated risk characterization of relevant plant pests
D. Flø, B. Økland, H. Solheim, C. Magnusson, T. Rafoss, L., Sundheim, J. Perminow (Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety)


Actinidia pollen is a pathway for the dissemination of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae and for the spread of the bacterial canker of kiwifruit
E. Stefani, R. Tontou, D. Giovanardi (University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, IT)


Using host data to model patterns and processes of tree pests across Europe
G. Strona, J. Barredo, G. Stancanelli, F. Boccacci, D. Nappo, J. San-Miguel-Ayanz (European Commission – Ispra (IT), EFSA)


The development of bacterial strain-, species-, clade- and genus-specific diagnostics using a genomics approach
L. Pritchard, S. Humphris, G. Saddler, N.M. Parkinson, V. Bertrand, J.G. Elphinstone, I.K. Toth (The James Hutton Institute, SASA, Fera (GB))


Measuring the general phytosanitary situation: development of a plant health barometer
O. Wilmart, X. Van Huffel, H. Diricks, V. Huyshauwer,D. Michelante, C. Bragard, B. Schiffers, L. Pussemier, D. Berkvens, M. Höfte, M. Uyttendaele (Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, Catholic University of Louvain, University of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Ghent University)


Collecting and publishing data on organisms harmful to plants in Slovenia
V. Knapic, P. Pajk, T. Seliskar, J. Persolja, M. Knapic, G. Urek (AFVSPP - Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection, Velesa engineering and consulting d.o.o., Slovenian Institute of Hop and Brewery Research, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia)