Modelling Topics on Climate Change as Driver of Emerging Plant Health Risks
Daniele de Rigo
DEI PhD Student
DEI - PT1 Room
November 17th, 2011
Despite not directly relying on a single coherent framework of quantitative computational modelling, the assessment of emerging risks for plant health is closely linked with environmental modelling and in particular with modelling integration at regional or global scale of a variety of domain-specific aspects.
Heterogeneous sources of information – either quantitative or qualitative – need to be crossed to estimate the relevance of a certain plant-health risk across the complexity of the causal-chain (several natural resources could be involved such as forests, soil, water along with land use and cover) which might lead to its possible emersion.
The plant health scientific domain is facing a rapidly growing number of outbreaks at global or regional - e.g. continental - scale by both new pests and by pests that, despite already known, were not previously considered as strategically relevant.
The urgency of timely recognizing and addressing such emerging risks also affects the way scientific research is able to cope with them and to provide decision makers with actually useful support to react, in a peculiar context of incomplete information and noticeably high uncertainty – sometime even difficult to be modelled quantitatively.
On the other hand, the emergence of plant health risks is often unforeseeable when considering only the information related to a particular scientific domain.
Following a series of food crises in the late 1990s, the European Food Safety Authority was set up in January 2002 for supporting the European Union institutions with scientific opinions on risk assessment regarding the food chain and in particular food and feed safety, including plant health.
Within this context, the EFSA Scientific Colloquium Series was initiated in 2004 with the aim of conducting colloquia to encourage more open exchange of information via scientific discussion and debate by gathering together leading scientists from universities and research centres, food safety agencies, professional or trade organizations.
This talk proposes a series of comments from an environmental modelling perspective on the 16th EFSA Scientific Colloquium on Emerging Risks in Plant Health: from plant pest interactions to global change (Parma, Italy, June 2011). The Colloquium gathered risk assessors and managers, scientists and stakeholders from 31 countries, including 19 EU Member States, seven candidate countries, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Norway, and the United States.
Applied systems analysis and operations research