Conferences sponsored by the Co-operative Research Programme

Information about conferences/workshops funded since 2016 can be found in the links below, including reports from conference organisers. It may be useful to look at these if you are applying for a CRP conference sponsorship to see what conferences have been funded in the past. To apply for funding, see the upcoming call for funding.


2021 Conferences

8 conferences out of 12 applications received were retained by the CRP for funding in 2021. 


» Assessing the State of Global Plant Health in Natural and Cultivated Ecosystems Toulouse, France, 5-8 October 2021

This workshop will provide concrete examples of how plant health is essential to the health of individuals and societies, and will be a key step in developing synthetic knowledge of plant health globally. It will be an important step of the Global Plant Health Assessment (GPHA) initiated by the International Society of Plant Pathology (ISPP) in 2020, International Year of Plant Health. The workshop is an essential step in developing synthetic knowledge of plant health globally, which will include a description of the impact of plant diseases on the ecosystem services generated by important plant systems in the world. It will bring together members of the GPHA co-ordination group and the lead scientists of each PlantSystem-Ecoregion considered to analyse reports already commissioned and assemble them into a collective synthesis in order for policy recommendations to be developed. It will deliver, for the first time, information of plant health across regions and systems, thereby helping policy makers to set priorities in targeting practices to improve plant health.


» First Conference on Farmer Centric On-farm Experimentation—Digital Tools for a Scalable Transformative Pathway Montpellier, France, 13-15 October 2021

Technological innovations in agriculture, developed in a mainly top-down approach by the scientific community, are hardly adopted by many farmers. This conference aims to look how on-farm experimentation could bridge this gap. The organisers will hold four virtual workshops to prepare for the main conference on: how ‘on-farm experimentation’ can create value, how this value can be shared and what are the needs for legitimate arrangements to protect intellectual property; the technology fallacy exploring various examples of scalable changes offered by on-farm experimentation towards systemic goals of efficiency, profitability and environmental protection; the opportunity of on-farm experimentation with big data and agricultural analytics to position farmers in the centre of this digital evolution; and policy legislation and investment to support transformation by ‘on-farm experimentation’. The conference itself will discuss and synthesise the results of these virtual workshops with the aims of: congregating, exhibiting and expanding the international network around on-farm experimentation with farmers, researchers, policy, economic specialists; developing scientific, social guidelines and skills in relation to on-farm experimentation; identifying resources and tools to facilitate on-farm experimentation; and advising policy makers.


» Agriculture as an Actor of Social Inclusion (AGASI) Nitra, Slovak Republic, 14-15 October 2021 

The aim of the conference is to draw the attention of politicians and decision-makers at various levels to the effects that social farming could bring. This issue concerns primarily, but not only, the domains of social affairs, social economy, employment and agriculture. The debate on policy issues that are to be addressed during the conference will contribute to national scientific and public debate. This will be the first international conference on social farming in the Slovak Republic. Its participants will discuss development of policies creating conditions for social farming. It will contribute to the scientific and public debate on forms, effects, added value of social farming, etc. This should help in the process of incorporating social farming into the social economy, social system and agricultural and regional policy of the state. Social farming and gardening could help in inclusion of different groups of disadvantaged people into society. It could bring innovative therapy, education and leisure activities and additional income for farmers.


» Forecasting and managing multi-risks in Mediterranean, temperate and boreal forests: comparison between North-American and European approaches Bordeaux, France, 1-3 December 2021

This workshop will draw together the current of knowledge on multi-risks in forests and the research perspectives that will help reduce exposure and vulnerability of forests to risks. North-American and European forests provide a wide range of economic and social benefits to humankind. These include contributions to the overall economy – for example through employment, processing and trade of forest products and energy – and investments in the forest sector. They also include the protection of sites and landscapes of high cultural, spiritual or recreational value. Maintaining and enhancing these functions is an integral part of sustainable forest management. Forests have experienced an intensification in disturbances in recent years, such as fires, insect outbreaks and windthrows. Significant advances have been made in understanding natural disturbances taken individually. Survey devices and strategies for risk mitigation have been developed for fire, diseases or windthrows. However multi-risks approaches remain incomplete, despite disturbances often being successive and that some disturbances increase susceptibility to other disturbances. Not only do calamities add up, but they also change in scale as with mega-fires and large pest outbreaks. This workshop is designed to bring together scientists and stakeholders to highlight different scientific problematics related to risk prevention and mitigation based on the issues raised by forest stakeholders. In particular, new public policies in multi-risks management would imply the implementation of devices for risks monitoring and alert. This also requires understanding the decision making process in risk management with its behavioural and economic dimensions.


» Enhancing Food System Resilience London, United Kingdom, 7-9 December 2021

Food systems are complex and food system research links agriculture research with many disciplines. The conference has a multidisciplinary set up and will be structured around four key questions: (i) on what the resilience of food systems have to be oriented, (ii) to which threats food systems have to be resilient, (iii) who would benefit from an increased resilience and (iv) over what time frame this resilience should be organised. It will also question, from a policy viewpoint, the degree to which enhancing food system resilience needs to be based on negotiating resilience between different actors in the system rather than implementing a system-wide intervention. Addressing these topics needs to place agricultural and other interventions in a broader construct.

COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus risks to the food security and the negative impact for many. The UN World Food Programme warned that an estimated 265 million people would be facing acute food insecurity by the end of 2020, up from 135 million people before the crisis, because of income and remittance losses. COVID-19, coupled with other shocks and stresses to food security such as climate change and potential alterations in trade arrangements, has greatly heightened societal-level concerns about the resilience of the food system which underpins food security. The food systems framework explicitly recognises food consumers as key actors in the food system. This is important as new framings of food security (FAO HLPE) have included agency as a new dimension of food security, along with the traditional availability, accessibility, utilisation and stability dimensions. Empowering consumers, enhancing agency, particularly those less well endowed, is a promising strategy in improving food security for all. The food systems framework and resilience framing cycle provide a pathway for governments and the private sector to ensure their interventions leave no one behind.


» International workshop on innovative hydrothermal systems to valorize agricultural residuals: Roadmap towards implementation - achievements and barriers taking place Seoul, Korea, 8-9 November 2021 - Postponed to 23-24 May 2022

The aim of the workshop is to develop a roadmap for the implementation of hydrothermal technology in agricultural production systems to improve material use and recycling of agricultural wastes and residuals as well as surplus biomass. Many years of research have shown that hydrothermal technology can produce value-added products from agricultural materials, such as biomass, wastes and residuals (subsequently denoted as residuals for simplicity). It is potentially beneficial in recycling organic carbon and nutrients from plant and animal residuals to agricultural land, developing economic opportunities in rural areas for businesses valorising residuals, and avoiding negative health and environmental impacts from wet organic residuals. Developing hydrothermal carbonisation systems is one of the solutions to remedy agricultural waste and residuals releasing excess nutrients and pollutants in the environment, which are a problem for the sustainable production of food. The roadmap this workshop will produce will help resolve the many hurdles that exist to implementing both technological and policy systems for this technology.


» From Barcodes to Bushels; Bridging the gap between gene banks and crop improvement | Gaterslaben, Germany, 11-14 October 2021 - Postponed to 2022

This workshop is a one-time event, designed as a small group to explore solutions for improving sequence data management. Obviously, given the current DNA sequencing technologies and the ensuing trend in accumulation of sequence data, the issues regarding data organisation, quality control, annotation and interpretation become a priority. This workshop explore how improving data generation and data management practices related to crop diversity will impact all aspects of gene bank management including increased effectiveness of conservation priorities, more precise validation of identity and integrity, and more accurate estimation and prediction of genetic value. These improvements rely on the use of community standards and methods that facilitate data integration, based on exemplar projects that have been implemented in a few major crops. One of the aims of the workshop is therefore to attempt to developing a set of standard sampling and data management practices, so that gene banks will become more efficient at conservation, better able to deliver this diversity to national and international stakeholders and more able to engage as partners in research focused on food security and sustainability. Additionally, best practices related to “non-monetary forms of fair and equitable benefit sharing” as outlined in International Treaties, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture will be identified.


» Overcoming the barriers to adoption of microbial bioherbicides Bellagio or Bari, Italy, 21-25 September 2021 - Postponed to 2022

In the societal context of agriculture, non-chemical methods in crop protection are gaining importance, particularly as the use of synthetic chemicals is aimed to be substantially reduced in various regions of the world. Thus, biological plant protection is gaining importance, within which weed biocontrol is less applied than other biocontrol agents. Considering this, along with the facts that numerous herbicide active ingredients have been banned or withdrawn in several countries worldwide and no herbicides with new modes of action have been introduced during the last two decades, biological means of weed control are important to be surveyed, summarized and assessed. This workshop will bring together leading experts in biocontrol, plant physiology, microbiology, molecular biology and formulation technology to discuss potentials and perspectives of weed biocontrol, promising to be a good and effective dialogue among research specialists and policy-makers, and is intended to identify the critical technical problems and to propose solutions to overcome them, as well as to help regulatory boards and political bodies in taking proper science-based decisions about the use of microbial bioherbicides. It is, therefore, of particular interest to the OECD Expert Group on Biopesticides, which focuses on, among other things, developing methodologies and guidance to assess the safety of biological pesticides, including microbials, and identifying impediments in the registration process for both companies developing biocontrol products and governments regulating such products.


» Grazing in Future Multi-Scapes: From thoughtscapes to landscapes, creating health from the ground up Lincoln, New Zealand, 31 May - 5 July 2021 (virtual conference)

New and innovative ways to manage the world’s pastoral agriculture systems are required to prevent the environmental degradation that pastoral farming can cause, and improve the health of the land, the animals and the people. This workshop will propose new approaches to pastoral agriculture which will underpin policy addressing future management of productive and recreational lands, leading to substantial impacts for society through improved nutrition and food resilience, as well as recreational, cultural and aesthetic values. The vision of this workshop will centre on improving the nutritional qualities of meat through less intensive pastoralism on more biodiverse healthy lands that are sustainably managed. 2020 has been declared by the UN as International Year of Plant Health, and plant health will be at the core of the workshop, with plant health underpinning healthy grazing and healthy animals. The workshop will think holistically about the role of plant health in pastoral landscapes and the economic, social and environmental impact of plant health on food security and ecosystem functions.


» Development of standard research methodologies for the mass rearing of insects fed waste organic residues for the production of novel animal feeds | Quebec, Canada, 2-6 June 2020 Postponed until 2021

A workshop within the 3rd International conference: Insects to Feed the World 2020

The objective of this workshop is to establish standard research and development standards in the growing field of the production of novel animal feeds from insects fed with waste organic matter.
To meet the current and future food challenges, the agri-food sector needs to find new ways of growing food, with inefficiencies addressed and novel approaches developed for alternative production practices. Although the direct consumption of insects by humans is not widely practiced in Western countries, using insects to convert waste organic biomass offers an interesting opportunity to produce high-quality feed ingredients for animal production. The growing international interest in this sector can be seen by the large increase in applied and fundamental research being conducted and published. However, a lack of methodological standards for research and development means that interpreting and comparing results from different studies are difficult. This results in consensus building on key issues within the scientific community being a challenge, and the ability of policy makers and regulators to adequately assess the state of this rapidly-evolving field being impeded. The planned outcome of the workshop is structured guidelines for research methodologies that would become industry standards, enabling co-ordination among researchers and increased confidence for public organisations to develop appropriate policy and regulatory guidelines and decisions.


» Adaptations to climate change in the food system: enhancing synergies and breaking trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation, and ecosystem services Tsukuba, Japan - Postponed until further notice

This symposium will bring together the latest information on climate change studies in all phases of the food system – growing, harvesting, processing, transporting, marketing, consumption and disposal. It will cover topics such as the impacts of climate change on various sectors related to the food system, the assessment of biophysical and social vulnerability, damage due to climate hazards and adaptation implementation. Implementation pathways to enhance synergies between adaptation and mitigation will be discussed, as well as the issues of current knowledge gaps and major obstacles to implementation pathways from technical and social standpoints. As the organisers plan to invite the Lead Authors of Working Group 2 of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change 6th Assessment Report to be speakers at the symposium, the discussions and information coming out of the symposium should feed into the report.


» Governing nutrient pollution beyond farmers | New York, USA, 31 August-2 September 2020 - Postponed until 2021

The central aim of this workshop is to establish the pillars of a new governance framework for addressing agricultural nutrient pollution, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorous. Most policies addressing agricultural nutrient pollution have failed because of the difficulties in implementing changing farmer behaviour, even though nutrient pollution is one of the most important environmental issues facing society, exacerbating air and water pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. This workshop will take the novel approach of looking how a governance system can be designed that is aimed at the agri-food chain beyond the farm, from fertiliser producers to waste water treatment companies, and that is capable of changing the incentives driving farm-level nutrient use – i.e. how to reduce agricultural nutrient pollution without regulating farmers. The workshop will help expand the regulatory toolbox available to policymakers for addressing the issue of agricultural nutrient pollution and will provide a foundation for policymakers to compare the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of different options to help decide on a regulatory strategy most suited to particular political, economic and legal contexts. Nutrient pollution is directly to relevant to seven out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and to national climate plans under the Paris Climate Agreement.


» New Futures for Satoyama and SEPLs - innovation in policy and practice to sustain cultural landscapes | Cirencester, United Kingdom, 2-4 September 2020 - Postponed until further notice

The aim of this conference will be to showcase challenges, ideas and experience in how best to sustain and achieve resilience within cultural landscapes, strengthening positive nature-culture interlinkages and recognising the added value to society that these systems offer. It will provide policy makers with potential mechanisms and strategies to support moving away from a future of industrial agricultural landscapes managed in standardised ways by companies employing very few people and using high levels of capital, machinery and resource inputs. SEPLS (social-ecological production landscapes) allow people to gain multiple economic, socio-cultural and environmental benefits by sustaining a close relationship with the land and its productive management, working at a human scale and reflecting diversity in conditions and cultures. SEPLS seek to protect and enhance nature and functioning ecosystems and they offer mitigation and adaptation benefits via a reduced reliance on GHG-based technologies.


» Water use assessment of livestock production systems and supply chains Berlin, Germany, 11-12 October 2020 -  Postponed until further notice

 Pre-event of the 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food on the theme of Towards Sustainable Agri-Food Systems

This workshop will assess the implementation of guidelines for water use developed by the Technical Advisory Group for FAO’s Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership. The workshop will advance and harmonise methods and techniques to assess and improve water use in livestock productions systems and supply chains by analysing case studies in which the recently developed LEAP guidelines were applied. Different livestock water use assessment methodologies will be reviewed for their scientific robustness and practicality, focussing on the water scarcity footprint and water productivity indicators, the model calculations, data requirements and scale of analysis to help provide a sound understanding of the pressure exerted by the livestock production sector on water resources to support improvements to livestock water productivity and a reduction of its contribution to water scarcity.


» International Workshop "Food security: managing risks in a connected world" Santiago, Chile, October/November 2020 - Postponed until further notice

This workshop is being organised as part of the International Conference on One Medicine One Science (iCOMOS), one of the first global forums of its kind to be organised in Latin America. The workshop will explore different methods of identifying emerging issues and measuring their impact on food systems using model, experimental and other empirical approaches. It will also explore the management implications of increased threats (e.g. pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, pollutants, etc.) and the related impacts of these strategies on ecosystem and societal health. The outputs of the workshop and conference more broadly, if the new knowledge presented is used, could lead to reduced illnesses and deaths, increased food quality, updated regulations and generally recognised safer products.


» Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) in lobster and crab fisheries Fremantle, Australia, 19-20 October 2020 - Postponed until further notice

Lobster and crab fisheries are some of the most valuable fisheries around the world and make an important contribution to the socio-economic benefit of the community. Society wants to see that the management of these fisheries  is undertaken sustainably for the benefit of local communities and society in general. EBFM is a holistic approach to fisheries management that recognises all the interactions within an ecosystem rather than considering a single species or issue in isolation. The conference will look at the ecological effects of fishing, economic and social issues as well as the sustainability of lobster and crab stocks. Using EBFM principles, inappropriate fishing of lobsters and crabs that lead to trophic cascades with dramatic ecological shifts and loss of productivity in important coastal ecosystems, would be avoided, damage to sensitive habitats reduced and interactions with protected species minimised.


Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species | Tarragona, Spain, 31 March 2019

This is a small focused workshop that will deal with the growing opportunities to apply precision genomic tools to the management of invasive species. The objective of the workshop is to highlight examples of current state-of-the-art methods of genetic biocontrol for invasive species, and to produce a proceedings document that details the benefits and limitations of each strategy with regards to feasibility, biosafety and regulatory constraints. It is being organised as a special session of the 15th International Society for Biosafety Research Symposium. The subject of the workshop is closely linked to the biosafety work of the Working Group on the Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology, and to the OECD Conference on Genome Editing: Applications in Agriculture – Implications for Health, Environment and Regulation held in June 2018.

» Conference organisers' report


Regulation of Externally Applied dsRNA-based Products for Management of Pests | OECD, Paris, 10-12 April 2019

This conference will provide a forum for summarising how interfering RNA works to control pests by silencing the pest organism genes, as well as presenting environmental and human health risk considerations relative to the use of pesticides developed using dsRNA‑based crop traits. Ongoing innovation in agriculture is needed to continue to meet the global challenges of food production for an increasing population, the impacts of climate change, and working to increase the sustainability of food production. One such innovation has been the introduction of dsRNA-based crop traits, and research is ongoing into the potential use of externally applied dsRNA. Consequently, externally applied ds-RNA-based products for plant protection will be entering the regulatory systems of OECD member state regulatory authorities in the coming years. The objective of the conference is to summarise the current state of knowledge and ongoing developments that are relevant for the regulation of such products that are proposed for use as pesticides and contribute to the establishment of harmonised regulatory recommendations for these products. Having harmonised practices will mean that the risk assessment process will be more efficient, so the duplication of effort can be avoided, and barriers to trade reduced. Ultimately, with the use of dsRNA-based pesticides, the environment and human health will benefit from a reduced use of chemical pesticides.

» Conference organisers' report


Climate change, reactive nitrogen, food security and sustainable agriculture | Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 15-16 April 2019

The aim of this workshop is to bring together leading experts in the field of food security, soil science and greenhouse gas emissions from soils to discuss the current knowledge on, and establish a global research network for, N2O mitigation and denitrification in fertilised cropping systems. Particular focus will be put on what data and tools are needed to improve national GHG inventories and estimates of global GHG emission. The workshop hopes to propose a common and comprehensive database for collective data that help refine existing biogeochemical models, as well as standardising methodologies to reduce uncertainties and enhance model development further. 

» Conference organisers' report

» Policy Brief


4th International Workshop on Streptococcus suis | Montreal, Canada 3-4 June 2019

This workshop seeks to address two major issues in animal welfare and human health related to Streptococcus suis: vaccine development and antimicrobial resistance. Currently, no vaccine is available for this pathogen, which is considered the most important bacterial swine pathogen and which is rapidly appearing as a human health threat risk. Control is based on an alarmingly high use of antibiotics, leading to a dramatic increase of risk related to antibiotic resistance. The workshop will bring together researchers to share results and establish protocols to be able to repeat and confirm results, thereby helping co-operation and avoiding wasting time and public resources through unnecessary competition.

» Confererence organisers' report


Rapid evolution and the global spread of invasive species | Wallingford, United Kingdom, 12-14 June 2019

This workshop deals with the critical issue of the growing threat of invasive species globally. The growing connectedness of economies through trade and travel increases their vulnerability to invasive non-native species and is expending the range of species that are becoming invasive globally. One of the processes driving global invasion risk is the rapid evolutionary changes that can occur in invading populations and which are thought to increase invasiveness, allowing populations to colonise larger areas and new hosts and habitats more quickly. This workshop will help the participating experts to improve their understanding of how evolutionary forces interact and influence risk across different stages of invasion, as well as identifying conditions in which evolution can accelerate global spread and impacts. This will help improve horizon scanning, risk assessment and the management of biosecurity risks. 

» Confererence organisers' report


Delivering the Blueprint: Advancing integration of nature’s values into public policy | Cambridge, United Kingdom, 19-20 September 2019

This conference will bring experts from difference disciplines together to provide clear recommendations on how best to accommodate the economic value of natural capital into the challenging area of agricultural policy, in particular in decisions between productivity and environmental sustainability. Natural capital approaches can be useful for integrating some of the values of nature into economic-based decision making, but many questions remain around governance, the role of market forces, and the many values that remain unaccounted for because they are either hidden or missing, particularly the value of biodiversity. This conference will bring together experts from the fields of economics, ecology and policy to discuss these globally important issues.


Intellectual property and access to CRISPR-Cas gene editing technologies for innovation in crop agriculture Keystone, Colorado, United States, 17-18 October 2019

This conference will examine intellectual property issues surrounding the gene editing technology CRISP-Cas, around which a web of patents, IP, licensing contracts and strategic alliances has emerged. The objectives of this conference are: to provide understanding of the complex and evolving IP landscape, including licensing agreements, that governs access to CRISPR for use in commercial crop agriculture; to compile a range of expert opinion and critical analyses of the current IP situation, as well as perceptions, concerns and feedback from stakeholders across industry, governments and NGOs; and to explore implications of the IP and licensing regime on public perceptions, regulatory politics and, by extension, the incentives and risks of using CRISPR across a wide range of innovations for sustainable agriculture.


Workshop on challenges for agroecology development for the building of sustainable agri-food systems | Santiago, Chile, 11-13 November 2019

This workshop was, unfortunately, cancelled due to the unstable situation in Chile. 

The overall aim of this workshop was to evaluate knowledge gaps and advances related to agro-ecological developments and analyse agricultural policies and policy instruments that promote agroecology in OECD countries. Agroecology encompasses different fields such as biology, ecology, social sciences and economics to seek a balanced interaction between all the parts involved in agriculture. It is a discipline that combines environment and society, including a fair economy, social justice and cultural identity as fundamental factors for agricultural systems, with the aim of promoting sustainable agriculture and healthier products for consumers, while respecting the environment and biodiversity in a socio-economic system where everyone (producers and consumers) benefit and cultural patrimony is preserved. 


TERRAenVISION: Science for Society | Barcelona, Spain, 29 January - 2 February 2018
This conference addressed several issues of importance to agricultural sustainability and the implications of a suite of international policy agendas as captured by the Sustainable Development Goals and UN climate conventions. It focused in particular on climate change, water resources, land degradation, soil erosion and ecosystem services and agriculture, with the aim of helping bridge the gap between science and society.

 2018 Circular Economy for Agri-Food Resource Management | Seoul, Korea, 13-15 June 2018

This circular economy conference will focus on the re-utilisation of agricultural waste, sustainability and economic viability of agri-food systems. Specific issues to be covered include the food production chain, animal husbandry, forestry, fisheries, hydroponics and aquaponics. The conference will also cover the more general considerations of circular economy – resource efficiency or complete waste utilisation, as well as systems analysis and modelling methods, and the potential of business and economic models, with an emphasis on environmental implications.

 OECD Conference on Genome Editing: Applications in Agriculture - Implications for Health, Environment and Regulation | OECD, Paris, France, 28-29 June 2018

This event will focus on genome editing applications for use in crop plant and animal breeding to examine the risk and safety assessment and regulatory context for the products derived from these techniques. The conference will review the situation of current and upcoming genome editing applications and the potential safety concerns for the environment and health. It will also discuss whether or not existing frameworks for risk analysis are equipped to deal with these new technologies and what the implications are for regulation, ethics and agricultural innovation, identifying possible policy remedies to address these concerns.

» Meeting report - Articles by conference presenters

 CRISPRing - a new begin for genetic improvement of plants and microbes | Budapest, Hungary, 3-5 September 2018

This workshop focuses on the use of novel genome editing technologies in the improvement of plants and microorganisms, and on the scientific prospects and future applications of genomic editing in the post-genomic era. In view of the rapid progress in CRISPR technology and its expansion into many fields of plant science, it is increasingly important that specialists keep each other and the public updated. It differs from the above event in focusing on the science and technology.

Natural products in pest management: Innovative approaches for increasing their use | Bellagio, Italy, 25-29 September 2018

Due to the rapidly evolving pest resistance and rising concern about the environmental and toxicological safety of synthetic pesticides, there is renewed interest in natural product solutions to pest management problems. This conference will bring together some of the most prominent scientists using advanced approaches to discover and develop new pest management solutions based on natural products.

Preparing Europe for invasion by the beetles emerald ash borer and bronze birch borer, two major tree-killing pests | Vienna, Austria, 1-4 October 2018

These two aggressive pests, which have caused considerable damage to forests in the US, are a serious threat to European forests if they arrive in Europe. There are real concerns that this will happen, given that one of the pest has been found in Russia and is spreading west from Moscow at an estimated rate of 40 km per year. This conference will examine how Europe can prepare a contingency plan to cope with these pests by bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines and geographical regions to share experience gained in other parts of the world, and to discuss the different pathways that transport the pests. The conference aims to inform policy towards optimising current and future preparedness.

» Conference organisers' report

 Risk valuation and risk management tools in agri-food sector | Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 17-18 October 2018

The aim of this conference is to provide broad and high-quality information to policy-makers, researchers and other professional stakeholders in the field of risk assessment and risk elimination tools in the agri-food sector. It will include an overview of methods and studies on measures to prevent or minimise risks and threats to agricultural and food production, with a strong focus on policy issues. It is hoped that the results of this conference will feed into the wider discussion on risk management which will be one of the key themes of the future EU Common Agricultural Policy.

» Proceedings

 Making science useful to agriculture | Adelaide, Australia, 26-29 November 2018

This conference will take a hard look at conventional themes and assumptions in agricultural research and its translation to agriculture practices. The participants will challenge conventional approaches through scientific analysis and evidence-based rationalisation to help guide agriculture research policy and funding. The participants will discuss how to improve the returns on research and development investments in agriculture by avoiding “faulty” science arising from reductionism, over-simplification and lack of rigour in an age of decreasing investment in agricultural research, with the ultimate aim of helping policy makers design robust R&D policies.


Digital Transformation of Animal Health Monitoring | Exeter, United Kingdom, 1-2 March 2017
The objective of this small workshop is to increase the availability and usability of drug usage and animal disease data by developing a sustainable and effective business model, starting with the food producing animal industry. The model will enable animal health monitoring information to be gathered and aggregated across countries. This information is not currently readily available, especially at the global level, but is of increasing importance as, for example, anti-microbial resistance increases and the consequences for human health become more apparent. The outcomes could very well be useful to the APM’s work on anti-microbial resistance. » Proceedings: Vial F. and A. Székács (Eds), 2018, Frontiers, “Digital Transformation of Animal Health Data: Proceedings of the AHEAD 2017 Workshop”, Frontiers Media SA (online)


International symposium on food credence attributes: How can we design policies to meet consumer demand | Tokyo, Japan, 18-20 May 2017
This symposium will explore our understanding of consumer preference over food credence attributes and the differences in consumer perception in different countries. It will look at how different countries apply different standards and regulations for the same food credence attribute and how this can affect the trade flow, as well as looking at food labelling practices across countries. The aim is to see if a platform can be developed to strengthen communication between consumers and producers to facilitate these issues. The outcomes of the symposium should be helpful to the APM’s work on food prices.


Global Goals - new approaches to knowledge generation: challenges and solutions from local to global scales | Stockholm, Sweden, 24-26 August 2017
Focusing on managing natural capital, this conference is designed to provide the exchange of scientific knowledge in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be the themes of the UN High Level Political Forum taking place in 2018 (SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15). The conference will focus on new knowledge generation and integration to support the implementation of the SDGs and how this knowledge can be implemented by society.


Symposium on Systems Analysis of Forest Resources | Suquamish, WA, USA , 27-30 August 2017
This symposium will look at how data collection protocols for competing forest management objectives and ecosystem services can be streamlined. It will do this in a unique way by bringing together two traditionally disconnected disciplines – the remote sensing-geospatial informatics community and operations researchers. This combination of expertise should achieve synergies to support forest management practices and policy.


Application of high throughput genotyping technologies for forest tree species identification and timber tracking | Madrid, Spain, 13-15 September 2017
The aim of this workshop is to facilitate the co-ordination of efforts from international initiatives in forest tree genomics to transfer information and high throughput techniques to improve and standardise multispecies DNA genotyping tools for species identification of timber and wood products to support the control of illegal timber logging and trade. Given that the global problem of illegal logging has significant negative economic, environmental and social impacts, if this workshop helps towards developing an accurate and global method of identifying source species that is straightforward to use by non-specialists, it will be a major contribution.


Water Quality: a new challege for global scale modelling | Wageningen, Netherlands, 18-21 September 2017
This workshop will explore the potential to model global water quality in the face of numerous stresses, but to assess global water quality, real data is currently insufficient. The workshop aims to set the agenda for future modelling efforts that are able to integrate knowledge of both water quality and quantity; whilst global models exist for nutrients, water temperature and pesticides and models are being developed for many more pollutants, the people modelling water quality for these different issues do not usually talk to each other. The workshop will bring these people together to share their knowledge and expertise to set the agenda for future modelling efforts that are able to integrate all this knowledge.


FutureIPM 3.0: towards a sustainable agriculture | Riva del Garda, Italy, 14-20 October 2017
The objective of this conference is to provide wide and high-quality information to policy makers to support them in their understanding of the whole context and the available solutions for sustainable crop production. It hopes to bring policy makers together with industry and academia to inform them about current and future research, scientific developments and opportunities in the field of integrated agricultural production systems to optimise productivity in agriculture whilst maintaining sustainable crop production. The conference will focus on plant protection, but take into consideration landscape management, biodiversity, protection of the environment, biopesticides and the threats posed by invasive pest species, as well as looking at the most advanced tools of precision farming and ICT.


1st Asian-Australasian Conference on Precision Pasture and Livestock Farming | Hamilton, New Zealand, 15-18 October 2017
This conference, held in conjunction with the 7th Asian-Australasian Conference on Precision Agriculture, is intended to be a trendsetting platform for the communities involved in advancing and innovating the pasture management and livestock farming industries in Asia and Australasia. It will focus on the integrated research that is increasingly relevant for pastures and livestock in the region and will be the first international conference to bring together researchers and interested practitioners from the region to share and discuss experience in research, technologies and the practical application of livestock farming.


Updated Diagnosis and Epidemiology of Animal Prion Diseases for Food Safety and Security | Tokyo, Japan, 10 May 2016
This conference on upgrading knowledge of diagnostic tests for prion agents is highly relevant to public health and has implications in trade policy. The issue of the appearance of prion precursors and their transfer between different farm (and wild) species is an important aspect that should be taken into account to control the risk of introducing prion-based diseases in the food chain. The basic scientific facts about animal susceptibility and interspecies transmissibility, as well as the availability of sensitive diagnostic tests for prion agents will help refine risk assessment and predictability.

» Conference organisers' report.


7th World Fisheries Congress: Session on Genomics for improved fisheries management and conservation: have the promises been fulfilled (Session 1) | Busan, Korea, 23-27 May 2016
The area of science covered in this one day symposium – genomics applications in fisheries – is of high importance in both traditional species conservation and fish biotechnology, and due to the growing demand for fisheries based food. It will review current research applying genomics to marine conservation, biosecurity, sustainability of the utilisation of aquatic resources, new species for aquaculture, traceability of seafood products, and fisheries management and aquaculture, including potential policy applications and enforcement.

» Conference organisers' report

» Proceedings: Bernatchez et al. (2017), Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 665-680, "Harnessing the Power of Genomics to Secure the Future of Seafood", Elsevier (Open Access)


Vulnerability of Agricultural Production Networks and Global Food Value Chains due to Natural Disasters | Vienna, Austria, 20-24 June 2016

This conference is on the highly relevant topic of increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters resulting in major economic losses and their at times long term disruption to agricultural production systems. Increasingly globalised food production systems when disrupted have impacts on local, regional and global levels. The conference will contribute to a holistic understanding on the interdependencies of natural disasters and their direct or indirect consequences on agricultural production. 

» Conference organisers' report.


Biological Invasions in Forests, Shepherdstown | WV, USA, 19-21 July 2016

This conference proposes to synthesise knowledge from different fields and develop management strategies and policies to address the threat of biological invasions in forests. This is an increasingly important issue since invasions of alien species are causing significant damage in forests and they are likely to increase through changing climate and greater connections through trade. Co-ordinated international measures and awareness are needed to make ground here. The conference will directly inform stakeholders and policy makers on the nature of the problems and policy options. 

» Conference organisers' report.


Genome Editing and the Future of Farming | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6 September 2016
The advent of new techniques for introducing precise changes in genomes has opened many new opportunities for applications in agricultural research, and may eventually lead to profound changes in the way genetic improvement of farm animals is achieved. In view of the many implications of the use of genome editing techniques, this conference provides an appropriately timed discussion about genome editing in farm animals and should foresee not only the opportunities it offers, but also the potential problems and the policy-related issues it raises.

» Conference organisers' report. 

» Proceedings:  NIB (2017), National Institutes of Bioscience Journal, Volume 1, “Genome Editing and the Future of Farming”, Edinburgh University Library Open Journals;

Hoyos-Flight, M., et al. (2017), Transgenic Research, "Genome Editing and the Future of Farming meeting report", Volume 26, Issue 2, pp. 319-321, Springer


Virtual Water in Agricultural Products: Quantification, Limitations and Trade Policy | Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, 14-16 September 2016
This conference deals with the high profile topic of water availability and efficiency of use and appears to bring a new approach to water questions. Among other things, it will clarify the meaning of blue, green and grey waters and will elucidate the accounting methods for embedded waters in agricultural products by accounting for the return water to the aquifers and the recycling of evaporated moisture from crop and soil surface.

» Conference organisers' report.


Environmental release of engineered pests: Building an international governance framework | Raleigh, NC, USA, 4-6 October 2016
This conference deals with the emerging, high profile and fast developing issues associated with emerging genetic technologies which open up major regulatory and ethical concerns. It will identify social, ethical and regulatory levers and barriers to govern emerging genetic pest management technologies, share international experiences and lessons around regulation and risk assessment of those technologies and catalyse international co-operation in addressing the complex issues.

» Conference organisers' report.


International Symposium on Food Safety (ISFS): New Tools to Detect and Prevent Foodborne Outbreaks from Farm to Fork | Santiago, Chile, 5-7 December 2016
This timely symposium focuses on the use of recently developed technologies for the detection of foodborne pathogens in the environment. It will cover the full spectrum of future improvements in food safety from irrigation water through production systems and supply chains to the plate. The novel techniques and their application, the processing of the information gathered and its relevance for policy making will be examined.

» Conference organisers' report.