REC gears up for EMPHASIS project meeting

October 5, 2016 | By Eva Csobod

The REC will host the third project meeting and first review meeting of the project Effective Management of Pests and Harmful Alien Species (EMPHASIS) on October 11-14, 2016. The events will bring together 50 European experts to discuss and review the results of the first 18 months of the project, which addresses the challenges posed by native and alien pest threats (insect pests, pathogens, weeds) on a range of both natural ecosystems and farming systems (field crops, protected crops, forests, orchards and amenity plants). The overall goal of EMPHASIS is to ensure a European food security system and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services while developing integrated mechanisms of response measures (practical solutions) to predict and prevent native and alien pest threats and to protect agricultural and forestry systems.

Day one of the event sees the first of the project's so-called socio-technological learning labs (SLLs) in the form of a study visit to the Centre for Agricultural Research in Martonvasar, about 28 km from Budapest. Discussions during the field visit will focus on plant health issues experienced by local farmers and agricultural researchers, and the visit will conclude with an informal presentation of EMPHASIS technologies. 

On day two, the various project working groups will have an opportunity to review their activities since the last project meeting and begin planning for the forthcoming period. 

October 13 and 14 will then be dedicated to a detailed overview of each work package, including objectives, progress achieved in the first 18 months of the project compared to planned activities, and plans for the next 18 months of project implementation. The REC team will report on dissemination and training activities in the past year and a half, including deliverables and milestones. 

The event will end with the review meeting, attended by the European Commission project officer; and a meeting of the Executive Committee.