EMPHASIS is a participatory research project addressing native and alien pests threats (insect pests, pathogens, weeds) for a range of both natural ecosystems and farming systems (field crops, protected crops, forestry, orchards and amenity plants).
The overall goal is to ensure a European food security system and the protection of biodiversity and of ecosystems services while developing integrated mechanisms of response measures (practical solutions) to predict, to prevent and to protect agriculture and forestry systems from native and alien pests threats. The specific objectives are the following:
1.Predict, Prioritize and Planning: pest management challenges and opportunities will be evaluated according to stakeholder-focused criteria and through pathway analysis;
2.Prevent: practical solutions for surveillance in different pathways to enhance preparedness will be provided to end-users, and monitoring tools following outbreaks and eradication will be developed;
3.Protect: practical solutions for managing native and alien pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry will be developed, their technical and economic feasibility will be demonstrated and their market uptake will be enhanced.
4.Promote: a mutual learning process with end-users will be developed, and the solutions identified by the project will be promoted through training and dissemination.
The project is in line with EU policy framework (Plant Health Dir. 2000/29/EC, EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020, Dir. 2009/128/EC on sustainable use of pesticides, Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe) and its future developments (Reg. on protective measures against pests of plants, Reg. on Invasive Alien Species).
The project is not focused on a single management systems but the plant/pest ecosystems dealt with are treated with a multi-method approach to design true IPM methodology that will be developed for key systems with portability to other similar systems, thereby having a large impact.