A joint EPPO/CoE/EEA/IUCN ISSG Workshop will be organized on 2013-10-08/10 in Oeiras in Portugal at the kind invitation of the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary (Portuguese Plant Protection Organization), the Centre for Functional Ecology (University of Coimbra) and the Agrarian School of Coimbra (Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra). The workshop is aimed at civil servants, scientists, land managers, members of NGOs, journalists, and any other interested persons.
|Governments, Universities and NGOs are undertaking research on pests and invasive alien plants which have agricultural or environmental impacts and taking action to try to prevent the introduction and spread of these species or to control them. Despite this wealth of initiatives, stakeholders and the general public are rarely aware of what pests and invasive alien plants are and of the damage they cause. Raising the level of awareness of the civil society is an indispensable step for political decisions and legislation to be taken.
Communicating on the topic of pests and invasive alien plants is difficult as it involves explaining what an alien species is, as well as describing their impacts. Scientists and civil servants working on these species are usually not trained in the use of communication tools and methods. Gathering examples of different communication tools and why some of these worked well and others did not and exploring the concepts underlying the perception that people have of these species would be valuable for those drafting guidelines on how to best communicate on pests and invasive alien plants.
Gathering communication cases
Drafting of Guidelines on how to communicate on pests and invasive alien plants
All the gathered cases, coupled with a reflection with sociologists, anthropologists and experts in communication would help those elaborating guidelines on how to best communicate on pests and invasive alien plants. Previous research has already highlighted underlying concepts in biological invasions such as biocentrism and anthropocentrism as well as the interaction between nature and culture. These aspects should be explored further, as well as the difference in perception of the impacts on agricultural areas versus the “natural environment”.
The workshop would be the starting point for the preliminary drafting of such guidelines.
The workshop will provide an opportunity to exchange experiences across countries on communication actions on pests and invasive alien plants, with an emphasis on the strengths and weaknesses of the actions undertaken. Exchanging views and experiences between the agricultural and the environmental sectors will be a primary focus of the workshop. The workshop will also allow the constitution of a network of experts of various disciplines interested in this issue.
Both the message to be sent and the tools that can be used (media, social networks, etc.) will be explored. The messages to be delivered to the different stakeholders will be considered as well (i.e. horticulturists, foresters, the general public, etc.).
The workshop will be coupled with a Portuguese ‘Invasive Plants Clean Up Day’ event, to be repeated if possible on a European scale the following year.
The 3-day Workshop will be divided into two days of presentations and discussions, and one day for the Portuguese “Invasive Plants Clean Up Day”, taking place on the second day of the workshop.
Four sessions will be held over two days, each followed by discussions in smaller groups:
Participants are kindly requested to pre-register online as soon as possible and no later than 2013-06-01.
The registration form will allow participants to propose a title and an abstract for a presentation (oral or poster), this needs to be done no later than 2013-05-20.
The registration fee for the conference will be approximately 100 EUR (the fee will cover costs such as coffee breaks, transport and documents).
The workshop will take place in the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary (DGAV) auditorium in Oeiras.
Participants will be accommodated at ‘Riviera Hotel Carcavelos’. For further information concerning the hotel, transport and location, please visit: www.rivierahotel.pt
Riviera Hotel Carcavelos
Rua Bartolomeu Dias Junqueiro,
2775-551 Carcavelos (PT),
Tel: +351 214 586 600 - Fax: +351 214 586 619
Single room (70 EUR/person/night) and double rooms (80 EUR/person/night) including breakfast have been pre-booked. The transport from the hotel to the meeting place will be organized by the local organizer.
Ringolds Arnitis, European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization
Sarah Brunel, European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization
Carlos Carvalho, Direccao Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária, Portugal
Elizabete Marchante, Centre for Functional Ecology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Hélia Marchante, Centre for Functional Ecology & Agrarian School of Coimbra
Eladio Fernandez-Galiano, Council of Europe
Paco Aguado Sanchez, European Environment Agency
Piero Genovesi, Chair IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group
Olaf Booy, GB Non-native Species Secretariat, UK
Mathieu Halford, Unité Biodiversité & Paysage, Université de Liège, Belgique
Melanie Joseffson, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency