Emerging problems in the EU can result from the spread of existing threats as well by the appearance of new threats for the agriculture and forestry. The number of alien pests reaching and spreading over the territory of the EU is expected to increase in the next decades mainly due to globalization trends as well consequences of the climate changes. The risks may be aggravated by change in availability of control methods for known pests and this is likely to be a consequence of recent EU actions on pesticide usage.
These are the key drivers behind the EMPHASIS project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and Innovation programme. As a participatory research project addressing native and alien pests threats (insect pests, pathogens, weeds) for a range of both natural ecosystems and farming systems as 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 as practical solutions to predict, to prevent and to protect agriculture and forestry systems from native and alien pest threats.
The key approach for greater uptake of alternative pest management and competitiveness of agri-forestry sectors is through providing products and methodologies that can perform as well as traditional pesticides, providing ease of use and cost effectiveness at the same time. Consequently, EMPHASIS is not only focused on single management systems but aims to use a multi-method approach to provide alternative products and methodologies to fulfil these criteria, and to design IPM practices that are truly integrated, in both technical and management components, as a key to attaining greater impact.
The HabiThreats toolkit has been developed within EMPHAIS project as science-based and technological multimedia tool dedicated to providing its end users with a practical overview and understanding on effective management of pests and harmful alien species. It allows for gaining knowledge, exploring good practices and interactively evaluating own innovative concepts in self-reflexive individual way.
The General section provides information on a scope of pests and harmful alien species posing threats for the agriculture and forestry systems It also gives an overview of available contra measures for their monitoring, management and control.
In the Interactive section are presented good practices and recommendations on alien species’ management. Tailored interactive tools for innovative concepts in the field of agri-forestry allow for technology assessment and business planning.