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|16 March 2012|
|Events endorsed by OPERA|
In Ljubljana the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia and OPERA Research Center co-organized the workshop entitled “Workshop on the Directive for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides in Slovenia”. The stakeholder workshop gathered representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, different associations and the private sector.
Mr Jože Ileršič from the Phytosanitary Agency opened the workshop and welcomed the guests. He gave an overview of the Sustainable Use Directive, its targets and he set the National Action Plan as the tool for its implementation.
Dr Jernej Drofenik from the Phytosanitary Agency gave a brief description of the Sustainable Use Directive and its role in Agriculture and he presented the stage Slovenia keeps in the drafting of its NAP. Provisions such as training of users, distributors and advisors; requirements for sale of PPPs requirements; inspection of equipment in use; areal spraying, handling, storage of pesticides and treatment of their packaging and remnants are already fully implemented in the legislation in force in Slovenia. Information and awareness-raising; specific measures to protect the aquatic environment and drinking water; reduction of pesticide use or risks in specific areas and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are partly covered, while the National Action Plan is now under development.
Bernd Hommel from Julius Kűhn-Institute presented the perspective of Germany into the transposition of the Sustainable Use Directive. He presented the revision of the NAP and the targets set which lead to risk reduction. The German NAP is constructed in a way that derives all overall goals into objectives and targets which are linked with indicators. Furthermore he presented the Plant Protection Index (PIX) as a tool to maintain progress in risk reduction. Concluding he underlined the need for all the stakeholders to participate into the dialogue for the drafting of the NAP.
Ms Daniela Altera from the Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea protection of Italy presented Italy’s approach for the structure of NAP. The Italian draft started in 2007 and ended in 2009 with its publication, while currently the focus is on the final version of the definite NAP. The Italian NAP consists of two parts: the strategic system document that aims to discussions between the interested parties on the contents of the future of the NAP and the technical Annex where is presented the core of technical measures.
The first session closed with an interesting discussion between the panel and the audience, regarding to technical details and problems that are faced during the transposition of the Directive to NAP. More specifically the discussion focused into the importance of the “necessary minimum” of the pesticides in use, concept that is implemented in Germany. Furthermore, the audience was interested in the improvements reflected through the use of Risk Indicators (RI) and how to construct a system to reflect those improvements. According to the German approach, the use of RI, is meant to record progress in risk reduction but also to identify “hot spots”, where further action is needed.
The second session was about the “Context for implementation and the views of the stakeholders”. The first contribution of OPERA Research Center to the debate was focused on the link between the CAP and SUD. Mr Alexandru Marchis, Policy Team Coordinator insisted on the existing link between the SUD requirements and the criteria for cross-compliance in CAP. These are to be taken into consideration in the implementation so as to construct requirements for farmers which are pragmatic and achievable. SUD also works as a bridge between the risk assessment and risk management as well as it creates opportunities to improve the agricultural practice.
Dr. Dušica Majer, representing the farmers’ associations stated the need for clear definition of the professional farmers and their training. Furthermore, he asked for the development and implementation of Good Agricultural Practices within the NAP and to revise the rules for the control of the machinery used for PPP application. Mr Boris Fras, from the Union of Slovenian Organic Farmers Association talked about the promotion of Organic Farming through the implementation of the SUD.
Closing the second session, Ms Renata Fras, Representative of the Slovene pesticides industry association stated that the NAP should focus on measures that will deliver the greatest benefit towards achieving the sustainable use of PPPs. She suggested the implementation of IPM and the use of indicators as tools that will measure progress towards achieving the goals of the Directive.
In the third session regarding to “The contribution of research to SUD implementation” were presented results from research projects relevant to the implementation of the Sustainable Use Directive. Mr Jens Pistorius researcher of Julius Kűhn-Institute of Germany presented the OPERA publication on “Bee Health in Europe”, where he is co-author, as well as the activities of his institute regarding bee health. In both cases the focus was on the current situation of the bee health and the relevant conclusions of the research activities. Ms Amalia Kafka, Scientific Officer of OPERA presented the recommendations of OPERA on Integrated Pest Management implementation and the Risk Indicators. Closing the third session, Dr Maura Calliera, Scientific Officer of OPERA presented the guidelines that were developed for the sustainable use of pesticides in Italy. The document was developed in a multi-stakeholder process. The project targeted to develop instruments for the easy identification of the areas where individual farmers can take measures to reduce or mitigate risks.
The audience was particularly interested in the issue of bee health within Europe and thus a fruitful discussion took place after the end of the third session.
During the fourth and last session were identified the priorities for the Slovenian National Action Plan by the participants who were asked to reply to a number of questions, using an electronic response system. One of the most important conclusions refers to the belief that the productivity should not decrease due to the measures chosen in the National Action Plan. Furthermore, IPM appears to be the most important tool to identify the risk reduction objectives and targets for the Slovenian National Action Plan. Finally the role of the public authorities for the information and training of the farmers appears to be very important for Slovenia.