Prioritizing risks of emerging plant pests and diseases in the European Union based on their social, economic and environmental impacts

19:00 Tuesday 28 May




Emilio Rodriguez-Cerezo (Spain) 1; Berta Sanchez (Spain) 1; Jesús Barreiro-Hurle (Spain) 1; Iria Soto-Embodas (Spain) 1

1 - European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate D - Sustainable Resources, Economics of Agriculture. Isla de la Cartuja, c/ Inca Garcilaso 3, Edificio EXPO, E-41092 Seville, Spain.

The increasing threat of plant pests and diseases to agriculture and forests is a worldwide phenomenon. Climate change and the globalization of trade are among the main causes of emerging plant health risks. In the last decade, the EU has been confronted with several large scale outbreaks of new plant pests and diseases. The main adaptation strategy towards emerging pests and diseases is more prevention, early detection at borders and control. Yet resources for pest prevention, detection and control are scarce and have to be allocated based on an ex-ante analysis of the possible economic impacts of quarantine pests and diseases. There are several hundred species that are considered quarantine pests for the European Union. Quantifying their potential economic impact in an scenario of entry and maximum spread is essential to establish a list of priority pests. We have developed a methodology to support plant health policy-making based on the soundest scientific evidence for those pests to which resources would be best allocated based on their impact severity.

The Impact Indicator of Quarantine Pests (IIQP) is a composite indicator to rank plant pests/diseases according to the severity of the economic, social and environmental impact that they can cause in the European Union territory. The individual indicators try to summarize and reflect the criteria of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 as far as it relates to the definition of priority pests and diseases. The IIQP should be applied to all quarantine plant pests/diseases that can potentially affect EU crop, horticulture and forestry activities. Our results can help to improve adaptation of the agriculture and forest sector to emerging pests and diseases.