ENDURE assistant coordinator Marco Barzman (INRA, France), pictured right, and Silke Dachbrodt-Saaydeh (Julius Kuehn Institute (JKI), Germany) took part in the first meeting of the European Commission’s expert group on the Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides in Brussels, Belgium, in June.
They presented the ENDURE project and addressed the topic of how research projects can support policy and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) implementation, as the first meeting of the 80-strong group got underway. The group, whose composition will change according to the subject under discussion, is scheduled to meet once or twice a year.
The Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides is one of seven that are being developed by the European Commission’s Sixth Environment Action Programme (EAP), with the others covering areas such as air, the marine environment, soil and natural resources. Thematic strategies are designed to modernise European Union environment policy making and take a broader, more strategic approach than was the case previously.
The Thematic Strategy accompanies the Framework Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides and emphasises the importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which will have to be encouraged by Member States and included in their National Action Plans.
At the meeting, members got the chance to examine the final report drawn up by JKI on behalf of the consultancy organisation BiPRO, Development of guidance for establishing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles (you can download the report below). This scrutinises the eight general IPM principles discussed and adopted by the European Parliament and Council:
In addition, the report identifies a series of additional topics (almost 30) in already existing national practice or in IPM concepts of several international organisations. “It was found that there are points strictly related to IPM and others which deal only with IPM indirectly," says the report. "The latter are most often complying with the provisions of the Framework Directive on the sustainable use but do not provide necessary actions for the professional user as such.”
Indeed, says the report, there is currently a lack of guidance for farmers. “It could be observed up to now that most countries/organisations tackle IPM not at a level of defined principles to be applied by the professional user - this means precisely defined necessary actions for the user - but at a higher level, addressing policy makers…”
The report says the eight principles identified are a minimum approach and it is essential that all the elements are applied in an integrated way, as “only the combination and application of all principles will lead to success.”
It further identifies several aspects which will be important for the Commission in the successful implementation of IPM:
The Commission's Directorate General (DG) Environment has asked ENDURE to comment on and add to the BiPRO report and this is currently being done. ENDURE is due to report back by the end of August.
Chair of the meeting, Paul Speight, from DG Environment, concluded that no ‘ideal’ National Action Plan exists but each Member State will have to develop a plan adapted to its particular situation. However, he noted, good examples already exist in several Member States.
He added that training is a key aspect for making the implementation of the Framework Directive a success and that research projects such as ENDURE will deliver useful concrete tools to facilitate the implementation of the Directive.
For more information
Click below to download the report Development of guidance for establishing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles:
Click below to download the report Draft Guidance Document for establishing IPM principles: