TOWARDS A CHEMICAL PESTICIDE-FREE AGRICULTURE: SANT’ANNA SCHOOL PISA, CNR, UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA SIGNED THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TOGETHER WITH 24 PARTNERS OF THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH ALLIANCE – PARIS, FEBRUARY 23,2020

The Joint Declaration of Intent “Towards a Chemical Pesticide-Free Agriculture” establishes a collaborative relationship between the European Research Alliance 24 partners who signed in Paris an agreement aimed at developing a transdisciplinary research and innovation agenda aligned with the December 2019 ‘European Green Deal’ priorities for environment-friendly, sustainable, fair, just and competitive agri-food sector across the whole value chain. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the International Agricultural Show event sponsored by the French Ministry of Agriculture. Participants included Italy’s Minister for European Affairs and representatives from the three Italian research organizations Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna - Pisa, National Research Council CNR, University of Bologna that are working to create a European roadmap. Sant’Anna School Professor Paolo Barberi from the Institute of Life Sciences has signed the Memorandum on behalf of Rector Sabina Nuti.

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment – INRAE, the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and the Julius Kühn-Institut promoted a unique research initiative to reduce chemical pesticides in agriculture.  The “Towards Chemical Pesticide-free Agriculture” framework document, drafted in preparation for Horizon Europe policy debates, offered a starting point for discussion.

In Europe, chemical pesticides or ‘synthetic pesticides’ used against pests and diseases on cultivated plants and weeds in agriculture, are suspected to affect the environment, biodiversity and non-target organisms including human health. Moving towards environment-friendly and healthy production systems is thus a strong demand by public authorities, farmers and European citizens. Transition to an agriculture free from chemical pesticides is a huge challenge that prompts to a complete reassessment of production practices. The EU directive 2009/128/EC has defined the first reduction goals by calling for the reduction of risks and dependency on pesticides. Chemical pesticides are being withdrawn from the stock of solutions and national policies are encouraging an acceleration of the innovation process while ensuring a sustainable transition for farmers.

The Joint Declaration of Intent was signed by:

1. Aarhus University (DK)

2. Agricultural Academy (BG)

3. Agricultural University of Athens (GR)

4. Agroscope (CH)

5. Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna (IT)

6. Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (FR)

7. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IT)

8. Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (HU)

9. Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE (FR) 10. Instytut Biotechnologii Przemysłu Rolno-Spożywczego - IBPRS (PL)

11. Julius Kühn-Institut - JKI (DE)

12. Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LV)

13. Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research - ZALF (DE)

14. National Agriculture Research and Innovation Centre - NAIK (HU)

15. Natural Resources Institute Finland - Luke (FI)

16. Rzeszow University of Technology (PL)

17. Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (IT)

18. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences - SLU (SE)

19. Szent István University (HU)

20. Teagasc - Agriculture and Food Development Authority (IE)

21. Universitatea de Științe Agricole și Medicină Veterinară - USAMV - Bucarest (RO)

22. University of Life Sciences in Lublin (PL)

23. Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy (LI)

24. Zagreb University, Faculty of Agriculture (HR)

 

Cover photo: the European Research Alliance partners signing the MoU