Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative
What is the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative?
Trees make a huge impact on our rural and urban landscapes and contribute to a vital part of our heritage, rural economy and well-being. Preserving their health is especially important as the environment changes. In the last few years, several new pests and pathogens have emerged as significant risks to the UK’s woodlands, commercial forests and urban trees. Diseases such as acute oak decline and red pine needle blight have become established in the UK, and the outbreak of ash dieback at the end of 2012 illustrates how rapidly new diseases can take hold, and the scale of the threat they can pose to trees. There is a range of other threats on the horizon. (See Briefing from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology attached)
What does it aim to do?
- To generate natural and social scientific knowledge to inform the development of innovative ways of addressing current and emerging threats to trees and woodland ecosystems from pathogens and pests·
- To support the future health and resilience of trees, woodlands and their associated ecosystems
- To facilitate collaboration between specialists in tree or forest research, and leading-edge scientists from the wider natural, biological, social, economic or other relevant research communities
- To encourage and make best use of interdisciplinary and systems approaches, and improve the impact and integration of social research and economics in this area
Who will use the outputs?
The initiative will require collaboration between specialists in tree or forest research, and leading-edge scientists from the wider natural, biological, social, economic or other relevant research communities who have other, broader expertise that could help to advance our knowledge about tree health and disease. Outputs will benefit, among others, land managers, foresters, conservation charities and community woodland advisers.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
Start and End dates: March 2014 -
Funders: BBSRC, Defra, Welsh Government, NERC, ESRC, Scottish Government, Forestry Commission.
A launch event is being planned for March 2014