(FINNBAY) – Helsinki, 2 June 2014. Finland is preparing itself to cooperate with scientists in Baltic and Nordic nations on plant health diagnostic laboratories. The first move came from the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) announcing to host the 2014 forum for the matter in Helsinki in June. The forum will focus on identification methods for plant pests and diseases, and the validation of such methods.
The rapid development of plant health laboratories has created the need for regular meetings between Nordic and Baltic representatives of such institutions. It has also fostered the desire to join forces in solving problems and planning the future.
The aim of the annual Nordic-Baltic plant health laboratory forum is to increase cooperation, break down boundaries between specialists and share information for the purpose of developing existing and new methods, and in order to solve problems, says Evira.
The 2014 specialist forum will be held on 3-4 June in Helsinki and will be attended by around 20 plant health experts from Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
A key topic of this year’s forum will be the validation of plant pest and disease identification methods. The forum will also evaluate quality systems in this field, as well as providing specialist presentations on plant pests and diseases and the current pest and disease situation in the participating countries.
Estonia’s EU membership heralded the entry of the Baltic countries to the forum. Estonia is also a participant in the EU-funded Twinning programme, whose aims include fostering Nordic cooperation. Lithuania and Latvia also joined the forum upon becoming EU members.