Jul 12, 2022
Published in: Publications Office of the European Union website (2022). doi: 10.2875/994513
Posted on RAND.org on June 24, 2022
Pesticide use plays an important role in managing food production by driving increases in agricultural yield through prevention and eradication of harmful organisms from plants. However, pesticides have the potential to cause significant detrimental effects on human and environmental health. It is therefore vital to consider how to manage future pesticide use and encourage the development of sustainable practices as part of the discussion on supporting agricultural production and food security in the future. The sustainable use of pesticides has been of growing concern within the European Union (EU) policy since the 1980s, with multiple directives and policies developed and implemented to tackle the associated challenges. However, the multiplicity of interests and diverse stakeholder views (e.g. the agrochemical industry, policymakers, farmers, citizens) challenge the achievement of EU targets to reduce the use of pesticides and their risk to the environment and human health. This foresight study has been commissioned by the European Commission Directorate- General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) to systematically consider future scenarios on the use of pesticides to 2030 and beyond, linked to specific pesticide-use and risk-reduction targets to be achieved by 2030. Scenarios are tools used to explore uncertainty and represent plausible futures across a spectrum of possibilities. Scenarios are not intended as forecasts but are designed to represent a wide range of possible future states to explore policy implications. This approach aims to explore different possible futures for 2030 and beyond. This approach also recognises the possibility of limited change by 2030, given the complex nature of the policy area and the different factors influencing policy development and implementation.