EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 10 - 2004 Num. article: 2004/143

EPPO declaration: Plant Health Endangered

At the EPPO Conference on Quality of Diagnosis and New Diagnostic Methods for Plant Pests (Noordwijkerhout, NL, 2004-04-19/22), serious concerns were raised about knowledge erosion and decrease of specialists in the field of plant health. In September 2004, the administrative session of EPPO Council was followed by a Colloquium on ‘scientific services in support of NPPOs in the EPPO region’ (Madeira, PT, 2004-09-23/24). As a result, a state of emergency was declared and the Council Colloquium agreed on the following declaration:

Plant Health Endangered - State of Emergency
The work of National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) relies on scientific expertise, but the services providing this expertise increasingly lack staff, funds and training.
On the one hand, the whole scientific basis of the phytosanitary field is quickly eroding. Taxonomy, classical plant pathology and other scientific fields which are vital for sustaining sound public policy are threatened with extinction, because they are no longer in the forefront of science priorities.
On the other hand, the need for phytosanitary expertise, training and research is substantially and continuously increasing. The number and complexity of plant pest problems increases every year. New developments and new technology have to be mastered, going far beyond existing expertise.
Unless urgent action is taken, indispensable expertise and scientific disciplines will irreversibly disappear, and NPPOs will be unable to do their duty.


EPPO Secretariat, 2004-09.