24.08.-27.08.2015 / Berlin

After Note

Dear Delegates, dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

A great scientific event ended and more than 1,200 delegates of over 95 countries returned home inspired by new ideas, professional contacts and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

 “Mission possible: food for all through appropriate plant protection”was the headline of the IPPC Congress 2015. The 360 oral contributions and the more than 800 posters that have been presented were promising: The United Nations - expecting a global population of 9 billion people by the year 2050 - can be sure that - one of the biggest global challenges of the 21st century - food security for the growing population can be achieved.

We CAN feed the world – in spite of limited or even fewer resources, using less water, fertilizers and energy in a changing climate and with all difficulties a globalised world might have. The approach demonstrated by the delegates from all continents bases on a sustainable intensification of crop production but – and this has even more importance –of mutual collaboration of all parties of plant production, farmers, extension services, research and education, including scientific civil societies, regulators and administrations, storage and trade companies, retailers, and consumers. The whole product chain from farm to fork on the basis of a harmonized legal framework has to be developed as the key factor in favor of those who cannot help themselves. Delegates underline that a generally accepted agro-ethical code of practice should be recognized by interacting countries. Without political stability the best agricultural system may fail.

All delegates agreed that integrated pest management plays a key role with regard to the mission. An integrated approach to plant protection provides the best means of achieving effective and resilient plant protection strategies. It is knowledge-based and uses scientific understanding of pest population dynamics and the role of natural control mechanisms in order to combine management practices in a sustainable manner. Robust varieties, crop rotation, balanced fertilization and good soil management are important elements. It also includes – as a last resort – the use of synthetic plant protection products.

A huge number of alternatives to chemical control means, including botanicals, plant strengtheners or beneficial organisms like hyperparasitic insects or nematodes were discussed, their limitations highlighted and their integration to IPM strategies demonstrated. A forthcoming break through research area was identified in the microbiom sessions and the workshops concerned with endophytes and useful rhizosphere microorganisms for use in agriculture.

It was encouraging to see that all over the planet healthy plants are estimated a prerequisite for overcoming hunger and feeding the world today and tomorrow. Production of healthy plants requires good practice in agriculture, in particular in plant breeding, plant protection and crop management. Bearing in mind the whole food chain, there is also a need to minimize food losses and food waste. In respect of the latter, governments have already initiated national campaigns directed at consumers.

Pests and diseases will gain even more importance due to global warming, as well asinvasive species. But, the delegates are sure, all problems can be overcome if knowledge and expertise is shared to advance science, and to network with colleagues around the world like it has been realized during this congress. Importance of networking has been pointed out by the young scientist’s world café, the student reporters, the scientific societies meetings and lectures concerned with the integration of education. These excellent actions showed that scientific civil societies can be a decisive nucleus for the interaction of research, extension service, administration and industry.

I thank you all for coming and I am looking forward to meeting you in Hyderabad, India in 2019.

Falko Feldmann

Managing Director IPPC 2015