Project number: 598444-EPP-1-2018-1-HR-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP (2018-2472 / 001-001)
Dear reader, Welcome to the web site of the ERASMUS+ CBHE project Harmonization and Innovation in PhD Study Programs for Plant Health in Sustainable Agriculture -HarISA. The complete food production chain is the world’s most significant driver of anthropogenic environmental changes and its management is the key point to attaining the UN Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), which aim to secure healthy food for an expected population of 10 billion people by 2050. Today, up to 40 percent of global food crops are lost annually due to plant pests. In terms of economic value, plant diseases alone cost the global economy around US$220 billion annually and invasive insects around US$70 billion. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat proclaimed 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The International Year of Plant Health is a key initiative to highlight the importance of plant health to enhance food security, protect the environment and biodiversity, and boost economic development. Consumers in the EU and beyond are increasingly concerned about the impact of pesticides on the environment and human health. These concerns are reflected in various EU documents (6th and 7th Environment Action Program, Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides etc.) whose key objectives include substitution of harmful substances by safer alternatives, encouragement of low input/low-pesticide crop cultivation and re-inforce integrated pest management applications. The various EU regulations (joint title "EU pesticides package") regarded stress upon the environment, residuals in the food chain, human health issues and impact on evolutionary pressure. Within the frame of EU plant protection and environmental policy, the common EU challenge is to reduce reliance on chemicals, improve food quality, and increase the potential for the development of more biologically-based productive systems. Therefore novel means of control and new strategies that reduce current reliance on pesticides are needed to be developed by scientists, applied and spread among operators at all level along the food production chain. The implementation of "EU pesticides package" requires highly educated professionals with deep understanding on this matter. They have to be capable to transfer knowledge, skills and competences in the biological, biotechnological and agronomic control means and in applying strategies of pesticide application which can reduce the environmental and human risks. The project aims to provide support for modernization and internationalization of higher education in the field of plant health and to contribute to co-operation between the European Union and the countries of Western Balkans in implementing the European Union's policy on plant health. It also seeks to ensure the acquisition of scientific knowledge and the transfer of skills and competences to achieve sustainable use of pesticides and the application of the major principles of integrated plant protection in agricultural production. Consortium members have special interest in taking part in the project as it is a unique opportunity to bring together a wide expertise in the field of plant health doctoral education and research. The project provides a great potential to generate synergies to help overcome the current challenges and build human capacities in plant health in the Western Balkan countries (WBC). All HarISA partner countries are candidates for entering EU. The common challenges for them is to implement EU policy in plant health, and develop and establish all necessary conditions for the application of innovative plant health measures that fits with the principles of sustainable agriculture. Considering expertize of all partners involved we strongly believe in good outcomes of HarISA project. We kindly invite you to keep track of HarISA progress and to support the professionals in plant health.. Yours sincerely,Renata Bažok, Ph.D: Project coordinator
This project has the ambition of harmonizing and modernizing doctoral education at PIs and to create a network of researchers that is capable to respond to challenges related to plant health in sustanaible agriculture.Therfore, the need for highly educated professionals with deep understanding in the area of plant health is high and this is the reason why we believe that sustainability of the project will be ensured.
The most important project deliverable will be the draft of a curriculum for the International Joint PhD study program (WP2). This draft will serve as initial document for interested partners to continue and accredit the Joint International PhD study program in plant health for sustainable agriculture and to apply for a new project.
Additionally, the sustainability will be achieved by ensuring the sustainability of harmonized and improved PhD study program in plant health for sustainable agriculture (WP3) what will also be the result of the project. Developed teaching materials will be used from many partners in the project after the project will terminate.
PhD students and staff mobility proposed in the project will contribute to the better networking of teachers and PhD students (WP5). The number of dissertation under double supervision will increase. The project will help WBC partners to be more involved in EU networks and projects. The network of teachers and students will be created.
By the creation of diagnostic and training hubs (WP4) the intra-WBC networking and creation of the platform of competences will be supported.
By improving skills of teachers for preparing project application (WP5) the number of scientific project application at PIs will increase what will ensure more research topics and more PhD candidates in future. By improving mentoring skills and empowering less experienced teachers for mentoring PhD study programs in plant health will sustain in the future.
Faculty of Agrobiotehnical Sciences Osijek (FAZOS)