EPPO is an intergovernmental organization responsible for cooperation and harmonization in plant protection within the European and Mediterranean region. Under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), EPPO is the regional plant protection organization (RPPO) for Europe. Founded in 1951 by 15 European countries, EPPO now has 51 members, covering almost all countries of the European and Mediterranean region. Its objectives are to develop an international strategy against the introduction and spread of pests that damage cultivated and wild plants, in natural and agricultural ecosystems (including invasive alien plants); Encourage harmonization of phytosanitary regulations and all other areas of official plant protection action; Promote the use of modern, safe, and effective pest control methods; and provide a documentation service on plant protection. EPPO also participates in global discussions on plant health organized by FAO and the IPPC Secretariat. EPPO has produced a large number of regional standards and publications on plant pests, phytosanitary regulations, and plant protection products. Since 2014, EPPO is hosting Euphresco, a network of organizations funding and coordinating research in plant health.
Role in the Project
The EPPO diagnostic protocol on Xylella fastidiosa PM7/034 was approved and published on September 2016. The Xf-ACTORS project and other national, European and international projects will contribute to shed light on the biology and epidemiology of the bacterium and will produce new tools (i.e. tests) that could be included in future revisions of the EPPO Standard. In the framework of WP4 ‘Implementation of sampling schemes and innovative tools for early detection of Xylella fastidiosa in host plants and insects’ the EPPO Secretariat will lead the efforts on standardization and harmonization of approaches and will contribute to the implementations of validated methodologies. EPPO will also play an important role in WP9 ‘Building capacity and competence to strengthen and implement the EU plant health regime’. An open data portal will be built and maintained under the EPPO infrastructure to collect research data and useful information (e.g. articles and protocols) produced by the Xf-ACTORS consortium. The infrastructure will increase visibility of the project outcomes to any stakeholders and will ease use and re-use of data by the Xf-ACTORS consortium and the scientific community at large. EPPO will also contribute to mapping research expertise and training staff in plant health laboratories within the EPPO region to support preparedness for Xylella fastidiosa, and will participate in the work on the development of certification programmes and standards for propagation material free of Xylella fastidiosa.