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Archive for the ‘European Union’ Category

Risk assessment for tiger mosquito in Europe

July 19, 2015 Leave a comment

The Asian tiger mosquito (Ae. albopictus) is indigenous to the oriental region, but is now widespread throughout the world. It is an aggressive mosquito, which causes nuisance and is well known vector of important human disease. It is one of the world’s most invasive species and is now invading Europe by both natural means and human assisted dispersal. Currently, there is no consensus on the limits of its potential geographic distribution in Europe. For this reason, studying the role that environmental driving variables, mainly temperature, play in determining the spatial variation of the potential population abundance of the mosquito should be considered a high priority. To assess the risk posed by Ae. albopictus to Europe, a lattice model based on the temperature-dependent physiologically based demographic modelling approach has been developed and is being tested against field observations. The area of potential distribution of this insect is simulated as driven by current climate and climate change scenarios. An index of population abundance is derived in order to investigate the average annual abundance as well as the change in the pattern of population dynamics as a function of the local climatic conditions. Uncertainty affecting model parameters is also considered and the implication on model simulation is evaluated.

Gilioli G., Pasquali S., Ponti L., Calvitti M., Moretti R., Gutierrez A.P., 2015. Modelling the potential distribution and abundance of Aedes albopictus in Europe under climate change. Impact of Environmental Changes on Infectious Diseases, Sitges, Spain, 23-25 March 2015. http://www.iecid2015.com

Area of potential establishment for the tiger mosquito in Europe under +2 °C climate warming.

MED Solutions

July 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. SDSN is chaired by Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University (for more details see unsdsn.org). University of Siena coordinates the SDSN Regional hub for the Mediterranean (MED Solutions). The second MED Solutions conference was held in Siena on 5-6 March 2015 (http://www.sdsnmedconf.unisi.it). One of the four Solutions for Agri-Food Sustainability selected and presented at the conference was “SPMP-MED: A Sustainable Pest Management technological Platform for the MEDiterranean basin” (see presentation by Dr. Gianni Gilioli linked below) that includes an approach not unlike that used by the GlobalChangeBiology project. The Mediterranean basin is a biodiversity hotspot characterized by intensive and marginal farming that affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. SPMP-MED was proposed as technology for assessing sustainable local and regional pest management using weather driven models with high spatio-temporal resolution. The technology will be made available to a wide range of stakeholders.

Gilioli, G., Caroli A., Memo M., Castelli F., Ponti L., Gutierrez A.P., 2015. SPMP-MED: A Sustainable Pest Management technological Platform for the MEDiterranean basin. Second Conference of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the Mediterranean (MED Solutions) “Solutions for Agri-food Sustainability in the Mediterranean: Policies, Technologies and Business Models”, Siena, Italy, 5-6 March 2015. http://www.sdsnmedconf.unisi.it/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2015/03/Gianni-Gilioli.pdf

GlobalChangeBiology in the Climate-ADAPT database

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

The European Climate Adaptation Platform (CLIMATE-ADAPT) aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change by providing easily searchable information about expected climate change in Europe, current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors, national and transnational adaptation strategies and actions, adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options, and tools that support adaptation planning. Information is stored in a database that contains quality checked information, including reference to the GlobalChangeBiology project.

Climate-ADAPT, The European Climate Adaptation Platform, 2014. Project GlobalChangeBiology: A physiologically-based weather-driven geospatial modelling approach to global change biology: tackling a multifaceted problem with an interdisciplinary tool. http://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/projects1?ace_project_id=165

GlobalChangeBiology project story published

December 19, 2014 Leave a comment

A story about the GlobalChangeBiology project was published on the Horizon 2020 website in the Projects Stories section. The European Commission DG Research had commissioned an article on the GlobalChangeBiology project for publication on the DG Research website under “success stories”. After an interview by a professional writer, the article was prepared and eventually selected for publication on the official website of the European Commission.

European Commission, 2014. Modelling climate impacts on crops and pests. http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/modelling-climate-impacts-crops-and-pests

Agriculture, food security and climate change in Europe

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The GlobalChangeBiology project is part of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE – JPI) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Program. The goal of FACCE – JPI is to achieve, support and promote integration, alignment and joint implementation of national resources under a common research and innovation strategy to address the diverse challenges in agriculture, food security and climate change. Partnering MACSUR, the first pilot action of FACCE – JPI that will start officially in June 2012 (see first newsletter), the GlobalChangeBiology project will provide case studies on grape and olive systems in the Mediterranean Basin. The MACSUR project is a knowledge hub that brings together 73 research groups from across Europe and will provide a detailed climate change risk assessment for European agriculture and food security, in collaboration with international projects including the GlobalChangeBiology project. As such, GlobalChangeBiology enhances the international dimensions of FACCE – JPI.

European perspective on biofuels

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, we reviewed the literature to examine: (1) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU non-industrial vision of agriculture, and (2) given its insufficient landbase, the implications of a proposed bio-energy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU biofuel demands. The EU acknowledged that the use of food crops for biofuel production was based on wrong assumptions concerning climate change mitigation, and its support has now shifted to second generation nonfood crops. The bio-energy pact entails: (1) biofuel crops production in developing countries, especially Africa that in the absence of environmental and social regulations may lead to ethical trade-offs in land use (food vs. fuel); and (2) the use of transgenic technology that conflicts with the EU’s own vision of sustainable agriculture.

Ponti L., Gutierrez A.P., 2009. Overview on biofuels from a European perspective. Bulletin of Science Technology and Society, 29: 493–504.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0270467609349048