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Movements of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) globally by trade and human movement present severe and increasing risks of transfer of plant pests (principally invertebrates and plant pathogens) globally. Climate change adds further opportunities for pest establishment and impact, both by providing increased survival and growth opportunities for pests and, through environmental stresses, making trees more vulnerable to those pests.
In relation to ecosystem services and their longevity, forests are particularly vulnerable to IAS. In particular, multiple PATHWAYS for transfer of pests internationally are poorly characterised, leading to increasing transfer and establishment of new damaging organisms. The COST Action FP1002 PERMIT addresses this shortfall in knowledge and practice and will focus on reducing threats from exotic pests through promoting ENHANCED PATHWAY MANAGEMENT.
The general approach will be through analysis and shared experiences of the principal pathways for movement of forest pests. This will lead to an appraisal of potential generic procedures that could be applied to pathway management, ultimately leading to a “manage once, remove many” Systems Approach to maximise pest reduction and to influence future phytosanitary policy. It will deliver hard copy, electronic and workshop outputs and exchange of experiences through at least 4 Short Term Scientific Missions per year.
The project was divided into the following working groups:
This programme was funded by the European Union – EU COST Action FP1002.
PERMIT currently had 24 COST countries and 8 non-COST institutions (from 6 countries) contributing to the Action.
The project started in November 2010 and continued until November 2014.
For further information, please contact the Action chair or vice-chair:
Dr Thomas Jung
Phytophthora Research and Consultancy
The EU, through Council Directive 2000/29/EC, provides mechanisms for “protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community”. The Directive is essentially a listing of all the potentially harmful pests already identified by the EU Member States and by the Standing Committee on Plant Health and links these pests to particular pathways. Similar list-based approaches have been adopted globally and there are many similarities and overlaps in procedures by different countries, trading groups and RPPOs, all of whom link to both the IPPC and the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement).
PERMIT will contribute to the ongoing development of improved phytosanitary measures in EU and global contexts, particularly since the contributors to the Action include countries external to COST. By focussing on the component of phytosanitary risk that, by definition, provides clear opportunities for international transfer of pests, the Action is also well placed to quantify those risks generically and, thereby, to consider generic methods for their reduction – “manage once, remove many”.
18/19 November 2010, Brussels.
Management Committee members only, with election of Chair, Vice-Chair and Working Group and STSM leaders and deputies.
5/6 May 2011, Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade, Serbia.
Local organiser – Prof Milka Glavendekic.
Autumn 2011 (precise meeting date to be confirmed).
Probable venue EPPO HQ, Paris.
The main objective of PERMIT is, through enhanced knowledge gathering, sharing and synthesis, to reduce the potential threats to forests from pests of phytosanitary concern through promoting ENHANCED PATHWAY MANAGEMENT.
It will achieve this through a series of inter-related and sequential objectives. It will employ analysis and shared experiences of the principal pathways for movement of forest pests, leading to an appraisal of potential generic procedures that could be applied to pathway management, ultimately leading to a “manage once, remove many” approach to maximise pest reduction.
To achieve the primary objective the Action will use two broad secondary objectives:
This objective will identify high risk pathways through quantifying the volumes of goods or other materials moved along each pathway, the type of goods/materials moved and the organisms vectored by these pathways. This will allow quantification of risks associated with individual pathways so that Objective 2 can focus on the highest impact pathways.
This objective will focus on communication to end users of risks associated with specific pathways, and will ultimately develop a decision support system that can be used by regulatory agencies to identify and mitigate the risks posed by individual pathways. The ultimate goal is a “manage once, remove many” approach that mitigates risk from multiple organisms, not all of which will be pre-classified as hazardous to the receiving country or region.
Dissemination and interactive sharing of the findings from the Action will be through a dedicated website, a series of workshops (some linked to the regular meetings of the Action) and, ultimately, a Decision Support Tool available as hard copy and electronic platforms.
The objectives will be achieved through both literature searches and shared expertise and experiences of the PERMIT participants, particularly bringing in expertise and knowledge of the biological and ecological interactions between pests and potential pathways. Arising from this synthesis, research needs and gaps will be identified and, where possible, these will be addressed immediately either through adaptation of existing research programmes or through application for new funding streams.
COST Actions encourage Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to take advantage of Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) to provide collaboration within and between COST countries.
Basic requirements for STSMs are:
The STSM coordinator for PERMIT is Dr Rimvys Vasaitis (see below) and enquiries and applications should be made to him in the first instance. Applications can only be submitted by using the on-line registration tool described in COST Vademecum and forwarding the necessary documents to the STSM Manager for onward transmission to the Steering Committee members.
Dr Rimvys Vasaitis
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Dept. of Forest Mycology and Pathology
SE – 75007 Uppsala
The introduction of species beyond their natural ranges has risen dramatically and at an accelerating rate over the past 50 years, due to increased transport, trade, travel and tourism on a global scale. Such PATHWAYS provide opportunities for transport of species across bio-geographic barriers that would otherwise prevent their movement.
IAS are species introduced outside their natural habitats where they may invade, establish, out-compete native species and disrupt ecosystem services. Biological invasions operate globally and are considered to be the second cause of biodiversity loss after direct habitat destruction. They are predicted to become the major engines of adverse ecological change in the future because of their increased spread and establishment.In addition to threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, the direct costs of IAS in relation to crop and amenity losses are immense.
Therefore, the planning of more effective strategies to deal with biological invasions is a global conservation and socio-economic priority, requiring improved actions at national and international levels based on proactive rather than reactive approaches.
Fundamental to maintaining biosecurity is improving our understanding of the pathways by which pests are moved internationally and, arising from this improved knowledge, development and implementation of enhanced pathway management to reduce or eliminate pest risks.
Fundamentally, keeping pests out is far more effective than attempting to eradicate or contain them after they have established in a new location.
The basis for developing improved methods for reducing pest movement along PATHWAYS is the sharing of knowledge, its synthesis through use of international expertise and, as key outputs, the development of new proposals and decision support for ENHANCED PATHWAY MANAGEMENT. Such a knowledge-based initiative is the fundamental driver of the PERMIT COST Action, where the emphasis is on developing and enhancing networks and by building and synergising capacity between existing and new research groups. Synthesis of state-of-the-art knowledge, including identification of gaps in that knowledge, will be provided by hard-copy, electronic and workshop outputs from this COST Action.
Although there are a range of EU and international projects and research initiatives related to specific phytosanitary threats, there is surprisingly little coordinated action or exchange of experiences and information on the biological and physical attributes of pathways for movement of pests globally. Some initiatives have commenced (e.g. the IUFRO Alien Invasive Species and International Trade Unit has a small working group on Plants for Planting as a Pathway) but they tend not to have a funding basis that allows frequent and structured interaction with relevant scientists, practitioners and stakeholders. PERMIT provides this structured network to enhance knowledge exchange, sharing and synthesis.
The Action has a Steering Committee for rapid assessment of key aspects relating to the work of PERMIT; these include choice of meeting venues and dates as well as encouragement and administration of Short Term Scientific Missions.
Results from this Action will be of interest to a wide range of end-users:
The four Working Groups will address separate, but inter-related, aspects of how pathways provide the mechanisms for international movement of pests. While each Working Group will have a specific focus, their activities will overlap, particularly in Working Group 4.
Leader and Deputy: Dr Anna-Maria Vettraino, Dr Marc Kenis
Currently recognised phytosanitary pathways will be analysed in relation to their potential to be colonised by pests in their countries of origin and, subsequently, their capacity to ‘deliver’ pests to new locations. The analysis will be focused on the structural and biological carrying capacities of the pathways and related to types of pests and their generic biological characteristics that determine whether they are likely to be associated with particular pathways at origin.
There is currently only fragmented information on the degree of movement of pests along key pathways. Information on movements of forest pests globally will be gathered by direct interaction with National and Regional Plant Protection Organisations and by analysis of wider scientific literature on pest associations with identified pathways. By broadening to include general scientific information, inferences on potential and actual pest colonisation of pathways can be used to address generic pathway risks and potential management regimes. The evidence base will include pest interception data as well as pest establishment information. Particular emphasis in the European context will be use of the DAISIE database, augmented by a number of other international data sources.
Analysis of trends and volumes of movement along identified pathways will be used to estimate their extent and speed of movement. It will include traded goods and also the inadvertent movement of pests by individuals carrying personal goods. The analysis will provide information on the level of knowledge of stakeholders involved in pathway movements. This will be the basis for improved education and knowledge transfer in Task 5.
Leader and Deputy: Professor Jean-Claude Grégoire, Dr Treena Burgess
Detailed information on pathways and their pest carrying capacities will be used to assess risk reduction strategies. This will include current measures that are generally pest-specific, and new generic measures that will address management of pests with particular biological attributes and associations with given pathways. The purpose will be to propose single or multiple measures to deliver a “manage once, remove many” approach to ensure freedom from pests for named pathways.
Leader and Deputy: Dr Mariella Marzano, Dr Jelena Tomicevic
Information will be collated and used as a basis for improved education and dissemination of information on pathway risk awareness. This will address both the reasons for trade along given pathways and the level of knowledge on risks of movement of pests for each pathway. While being comprehensive, particular focus will be on more intractable pathways such as Plants for Planting and personal movement of goods that could pose phytosanitary risks. The Working Group charged with carrying out this task includes socio-economic expertise so that appropriate techniques of data gathering and analysis are being applied to the information gathered.
Leader and Deputy: Dr Rimvys Vasaitis, Professor Milka Glavendekic
The COST Action will employ structured data gathering and analysis to identify knowledge gaps and research needs on a pathway by pathway basis. By concentrating on generic risks and risk mitigation measures, PERMIT will provide a basis for development of novel risk reduction measures of value to the EC and internationally.