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Events

Suggestions for the implementation of the oncoming Directive for the Sustainable Use Directive of pesticides- the experience of LIFE+ EcoPest project

Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Kifisia, Athens, Greece

26 May 2011
Events endorsed by OPERA

On the 26th of May in Athens, Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI) and OPERA Research Center co-organized the workshop entitled "Towards the Implementation of the Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides”. This stakeholder workshop gathered representatives from the Greek Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, different associations and the private sector and the academic sectorup to a number of 70 participants.

The Ministry of agriculture was represented by the vice-minister Mr Koutsoukos, who focused his introductory speech on the need for an extensive dialogue between the stakeholders and on his belief that the scientific conclusions of the in-situ research will contribute towards this direction.

The presentations’ session was opened by Mr Theodoris, representing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with an overview on the Sustainable Use Directive. He gave a general description of the SUD, its targets and he set the National Action Plan as a tool for implementation.

D rMachera, the Director of Benaki Phytopathological Institute, gave a description of the projects implemented by the institute that could contribute to the development of the National Action Plan. Furthermore, she made some suggestions for the implementation of the Directive such as the gradual implementation of the requirements based on certain criteria; priority on the training of the farmers; on packaging material and remnants management and the development and implementation of IPM systems. The difficulties of the implementation are generated by: the structural particularities of the Greek agriculture, dominated by small size farms and fragmentation of land; the limited data on the use of pesticides and the hydro-geological data; the reduced income of the farmers and their level of education.

Alexandru Marchis, Policy Team Coordinator of OPERA Research Center delivered a presentation on “The relation between CAP and SUD- Aspects to be considered in the implementation”. The challenges of the new CAP are the demand of continued rapid growth in global food and the limited growth of food supply. He highlighted the need of a smart CAP which ensures food, environmental and social security. The link between CAP and SUD appears evident in their objectives when subjects like protection of users, public, biodiversity, water resources and environment are addressed. Finally, the implementation of SUD needs to be simple, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely, while the criteria to judge sustainability should always cover economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Adrian Dixon, as the Head of the Policy Implementation Team of the Chemicals Regulation Directorate in the UK presented the “UK pesticides strategy and National Action Plan”. During his presentation he focused on the strategic outcomes to achieve high standards of human and environment protection against potential risks posed by pesticides whilst maintaining the economic viability of crop production and effective control of pests, weeds and diseases.

Amalia Kafka, Scientific Officer of OPERA Research Center, presented to the audience the publication of OPERA related with the “Risk Indicators Selection and Quantitative Targets to meet SUD Objectives”. The methodology of setting the measures, indicators and targets was described, while there were given some examples of numerical and realistic applications of the proposed measures.

Maura Calliera, scientist of UniversitàCattolicadelSacroCuore, delivered to the audience a presentation entitled “Share knowledge for a Sustainable Management of the Agricultural Productions: The Italian experience in the Sustainable Use Directive perspective”. The project she presented targeted in the development of a guideline for the Sustainable Use of pesticides integrated with a software that would train the professional users of PPP’s and identify the critical elements in the production management to prevent environmental contaminations and to assure high standards of safety of the operators.

The cycle of presentations was closed by Claudia Michel, who as the Director of Food and Agricultural Affairs of ECPA delivered the presentation “Industry Projects related to Sustainable Use of PPPs and Views on Risk Indicators”. She presented the industry projects regarding the safe and sustainable use of pesticides, the water protection, the safe disposal of the empty containers, as well as the industry’s view on the implementation of SUD and the Risk Indicators. Finally, she concluded that the plant health and the sustainable use of pesticides needs to be seen in the wider context of the sustainable agriculture with the involvement of the agricultural stakeholders, while IPM was considered as a holistic concept that offers a lot of opportunities to achieve the goals of the Sustainable Use Directive.

The presentations followed a round table discussion where all the participants of the workshop were able to participate and contribute with their comments. Thediscussion points were based on the pillars of the transposition of SUD into the national legislation, the development of National Action Plans in the member states and the public consultation of national stakeholders.

The main conclusions of the fruitful and interactive discussion with the audience were that the training and the education not only of the farmers but also of the operators, the distributors and the consultants is at the top of the interest and the demand of the stakeholders. Furthermore, the general feeling of the audience was that the implementation of the SUD will contribute and benefit the whole society in matter of safe products and environmentally based approaches.

Finally, there were highlighted the points of the SUD that are already covered by the existing legislation while there were made suggestions about the alternative suggested solutions regarding to the points of the Directive that are not covered yet. The content of the workshop will be distilled in a proposal setting out the principles for the development of the Greek National Action Plan.

The presentations are available on the link below. Please note that some of them are only available in Greek.

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