To coincide with November's Paris seminar, Sustainable Agriculture and Pesticides: What is at stake? What are the options? (see news), ENDURE interviewed Silke Dachbrodt-Saaydeh (pictured below right), from Germany's Julius Kuehn Institute, and leader of the ENDURE SA4.5 group, which is providing scientific support to policy makers.
QUESTION: What is the idea behind ENDURE's SA4.5 group?
ANSWER: This activity integrates the wide range of knowledge on integrated pest management (IPM) derived from and analysed by the various ENDURE activities, and then transforms and disseminates it with special attention to the needs of policy makers. Consequently it supports the implementation of the Directive establishing a framework for Community action on sustainable use of pesticides.
QUESTION: What are SA4.5's objectives?
ANSWER: We focus on providing objective and comprehensive scientific information from the various ENDURE activities to policy makers (for example on the ENDURE Information Centre website). From our point of view, key policy makers are members of the European Parliament and their scientific assistants, the European Commission and the relevant European Council working groups on pesticides. Drivers and barriers for the implementation of IPM are analysed and scientific results produced by the ENDURE case studies supporting informed decision-making by policy makers are spread.
QUESTION: What have been the results so far?
ANSWER: The first evidence of such interaction with policy makers was the inaugural European Expert meeting on 'National plans and programmes for the reduction of risks associated with the use of plant protection products' during the German presidency in Berlin last year (see www.jki.bund.de for details). A second policy seminar 'Sustainable agriculture and pesticides: What is at stake? What are the options?' during the French presidency was organised by SA4.5 and took place in Paris on November 25 and 26, 2008.
QUESTION: How are these results helping you to reach your objectives?
ANSWER: By making ENDURE well known as a source of objective and scientific reference and emphasising its important role in identifying potential research areas to implement future production in a competitive agriculture with a reduced reliance on pesticides. And, of course, informing policy makers about this.
QUESTION: What are the next steps?
ANSWER: The proactive approach towards policy makers will be pursued and new forms of promoting the scientific results of ENDURE will be explored. Statements on the current issues raised by the EU policy on pesticides will be produced based on a very objective and scientific point of view.