9th Meeting of the Panel on Plant Protection Information
The 9th Meeting of the Panel on Plant Protection Information took place at the EPPO headquarters in Paris to discuss how to better communicate on plant health issues at national and international level and further improve EPPO information services.
National and international activities on communication
During this meeting, Panel members shared examples of communication campaigns that have been carried out in their countries, illustrating the great diversity of communication activities (e.g. videos, leaflets, games, training and education courses, open days, international conference). Most of this material has been published on the new EPPO Platform on Communication Material. Examples of communication activities specifically planned for the International Day of Plant Health (12th of May) were also presented.
The Panel was informed of a new EU awareness raising campaign on plant health which is being developed by EFSA. It is planned that the communication material will be made available to EU Member States during summer 2023.
The Panel also noted that the IPPC Communication Strategy was approved in April 2023 by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM). The EPPO Secretariat will circulate the approved document when available, and the Panel will be invited at its next meeting to consider how EPPO can help its members in implementing the IPPC Communication Strategy.
EPPO Information Services
The following new developments were presented to the Panel.
- EPPO Platform on Communication Material: this new platform was launched in September 2022. Its aim is to share communication material on plant health and get inspiration for future campaigns. At the last EPPO Council, it had been suggested to expand to scope of this platform to include communication campaigns on plant protection products. The Panel considered that if there was a need to share this type of material, it would be better to present it in a separate platform.
- EPPO Platform on PRAs: a newsletter has been created to inform users about new additions to the platform.
- New features in the EPPO Global Database: 1) new information about vectors of regulated pathogens has been added with bibliographic references; 2) links with the EPPO Platform on PRAs and EPPO-Q-bank have been added, as the objectives were to publicize the two platforms and facilitate access to specific information on PRAs, and diagnostics.
In addition, presentations were made on the EPPO Bulletin and several EPPO databases (EPPO-Q-bank, EPPO Database on Resistance Cases and EPPO Database on PP1 Standards). The Panel was informed that a new section on biological control has been added to the EPPO Reporting Service with the aim to raise the profile of the EPPO activities on this topic. Concerning social media, a LinkedIn page was created in May 2022 which has already attracted more than 1700 followers. Finally, the Panel was informed of the progress made on the revision of the EPPO datasheets. As of April 2023, 230 datasheets on regulated pests had been revised and published in the EPPO Global Database. Useful feed-back was provided by Panel members on how to further improve and publicize these EPPO information services.
Possible future communication actions
Possible topics for future communication actions which could be developed by the Panel were discussed and included the following suggestions: preparing appropriate messages for specific audiences (e.g. how to communicate with municipalities and landscapers), communication material on specific topics (e.g. on risks associated with planting material originally produced for consumption, or trade of large plants), leaflets on pests that are absent in the EPPO region, template presentations for students, tool kits for the International Day of Plant Health. The EPPO Secretariat will prepare a proposal for the next Panel meeting.
The next Panel meeting is planned on the 4th and 5th of June 2024 in Milano (IT).