Working groups of the PERMIT COST Action

The four Working Groups will address separate, but inter-related, aspects of how pathways provide the mechanisms for international movement of pests. While each Working Group will have a specific focus, their activities will overlap, particularly in Working Group 4.

Working Group 1:
Pathway characterisation linked to pest movements and trade patterns

Leader and Deputy: Dr Anna-Maria Vettraino, Dr Marc Kenis

Task 1: Pathway characterisation

Currently recognised phytosanitary pathways will be analysed in relation to their potential to be colonised by pests in their countries of origin and, subsequently, their capacity to ‘deliver’ pests to new locations. The analysis will be focused on the structural and biological carrying capacities of the pathways and related to types of pests and their generic biological characteristics that determine whether they are likely to be associated with particular pathways at origin.

Task 2: Evidence of movement of pests along pathways

There is currently only fragmented information on the degree of movement of pests along key pathways. Information on movements of forest pests globally will be gathered by direct interaction with National and Regional Plant Protection Organisations and by analysis of wider scientific literature on pest associations with identified pathways. By broadening to include general scientific information, inferences on potential and actual pest colonisation of pathways can be used to address generic pathway risks and potential management regimes. The evidence base will include pest interception data as well as pest establishment information. Particular emphasis in the European context will be use of the DAISIE database, augmented by a number of other international data sources.

Task 3: Trade patterns in relation to movement along pathways

Analysis of trends and volumes of movement along identified pathways will be used to estimate their extent and speed of movement. It will include traded goods and also the inadvertent movement of pests by individuals carrying personal goods. The analysis will provide information on the level of knowledge of stakeholders involved in pathway movements. This will be the basis for improved education and knowledge transfer in Task 5.

Working Group 2:
Development of generic risk mitigation measures to reduce pest movements along pathways

Leader and Deputy: Professor Jean-Claude Grégoire, Dr Treena Burgess

Task 4: Analysis and development of generic risk mitigation measures to reduce pest movements along pathways

Detailed information on pathways and their pest carrying capacities will be used to assess risk reduction strategies. This will include current measures that are generally pest-specific, and new generic measures that will address management of pests with particular biological attributes and associations with given pathways. The purpose will be to propose single or multiple measures to deliver a “manage once, remove many” approach to ensure freedom from pests for named pathways.

Working Group 3:
Analysis of the level of education and awareness of risks associated with different pathways

Leader and Deputy: Dr Mariella Marzano, Dr Jelena Tomicevic

Task 5: Education and dissemination of information for pathway risk awareness and risk reduction

Information will be collated and used as a basis for improved education and dissemination of information on pathway risk awareness. This will address both the reasons for trade along given pathways and the level of knowledge on risks of movement of pests for each pathway. While being comprehensive, particular focus will be on more intractable pathways such as Plants for Planting and personal movement of goods that could pose phytosanitary risks. The Working Group charged with carrying out this task includes socio-economic expertise so that appropriate techniques of data gathering and analysis are being applied to the information gathered.

Working Group 4:
Identification of research and data gathering needs

Leader and Deputy: Dr Rimvys Vasaitis, Professor Milka Glavendekic

Task 6: Identification of research and data gathering needs

The COST Action will employ structured data gathering and analysis to identify knowledge gaps and research needs on a pathway by pathway basis. By concentrating on generic risks and risk mitigation measures, PERMIT will provide a basis for development of novel risk reduction measures of value to the EC and internationally.