EFSA Report Discusses Climate Change as Driver of Emerging Risks to Plant Health

EFSANovember 2011: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released the report of a scientific colloquium on emerging risks in plant health covering, among other issues, climate change as a driver of emerging threats to plant health.

The colloquium addressed four types of emerging risks: changes in pests, plants and their interactions; changes in agriculture and forestry practices; changes in trade, food consumption and land use; and climate change.

The discussion centered on four questions: recognizing changes; anticipating and predicting changes; implications for risk management; and lessons learned and case studies. The colloquium identified the following potential impacts of climate change on emerging pests: changes in pest ranges; changes in host ranges; host-pest synchrony changes; increased pest virulence; and increased pest entry.

Regarding the implications of climate change on risk management, participants discussed, among other issues: higher uncertainty in risk management; changes in the effectiveness of control strategies; and the need to consider climate change scenarios in forest plantation decisions. The colloquium was held 9-10 June 2011, in Parma, Italy. [Publication: Scientific Colloquium on Emerging Risks in Plant Health: From Plant Pest Interactions to Global Change]