Today, the notion of global change does not only apply to the global warming caused by human activities. It now also includes other planet-wide phenomena caused by societal changes and transformations such as the intensification of trade and modifications in production and consumer systems.
The circulation of plant material, regardless of the mode of transport, promotes the circulation of pathogens. France, as a geographical crossroads, is faced with the establishment of plant pests and diseases from neighbouring countries, especially those to the north, but also those from overseas, which find climatic conditions in metropolitan France favourable to their rapid development. The same phenomenon can now be seen on the European level with, for example, the establishment in the Mediterranean of tropical diseases.
The evolution of public policy with regard to agriculture, in France as well as in other European countries, incites interrogation as to the role played by human intervention and that of a compromise with natural processes. It tends to favour an agro-ecological approach, with the reduction of chemical inputs in agricultural and non-agricultural zones. These approaches also have a potential impact on the emergence of diseases and pests, as well as on the measures used to control them.
In this context, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), in collaboration with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), are organising a conference on 23-24 April 2018 which will be held at the Maison de la RATP in Paris on “The impact of global change on the emergence of plant diseases and pests in Europe”.
This conference aims to bring together researchers, public decision-makers and stakeholders in the environmental and agricultural production fields, to take stock of the subject and bring forth new ideas on the assessment and management of phytosanitary risks in response to the challenges of the coming years.