Objectives of PERMIT

Overall objective

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.

Secondary objectives

To achieve the primary objective the Action will use two broad secondary objectives:

Objective 1: Quantification of pathway risk

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.

Objective 2: Pathway risk mitigation

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 of findings

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.

How will the objectives be achieved?

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.


  • Working Groups will address the 7 principal Tasks to be carried out within the Action. Interaction between the Working Groups and national and international research programmes and with Regional Plant Protection Organisations will guide the precise directions of work and provide interactive evaluation of progress.
  • Arising from the Working Group deliberations, at least 4 Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) per year will be organised to enhance shared experiences and to address in more detail specific topics identified for further analysis.
  • Knowledge transfer, delivery of decision support systems and their testing by end-users will be achieved through electronic (principally the PERMIT website), hard-copy and verbal means. The latter will be by workshops and demonstration events.
  • Management of the project will be through an agreed timetable developed by the Management Committee and maintained by the Chair and Vice-Chair using suitable project management software. This will ensure that deliverables are identified and milestones for their achievement kept under constant review.