Developing future scenarios for the sustainable use of pesticides

Hands holding seedlings, implying modern sustainable agriculture, photo by Worawut/Adobe Stock

Worawut/Adobe Stock

What is the issue?

With a view to achieving the 2030 pesticide use and risk reduction targets announced in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, and links with associated organic farming targets, the European Commission has commissioned RAND Europe and partners to carry out a foresight study for the sustainable use of pesticides, in relation to promoting sustainable food systems and protecting health and the environment.

The study will help to formulate an appropriate policy trajectory to accomplish these ambitious pesticide reduction targets. The study will also take into account the EU aims of protecting food security, production and quality, and the incomes and viability of producers in the EU/EEA, as well as avoiding possible adverse consequences in non-EU countries, including in developing countries.

How are we helping?

This foresight study has four objectives:

  1. Examine the most important variables that influence/will influence the sustainable use of pesticides in the EU in the period up to 2030 and beyond;
  2. Generate coherent future scenarios taking into account the most significant drivers in pesticide use and the over-arching ambition to comply with specific European Commission pesticide reduction targets, including links with relevant organic farming targets (as outlined in the Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy and Biodiversity strategy);
  3. Describe, for each scenario, the likely impact of a timely launch of appropriate and adequate EU policies on the sustainable use of pesticides, as well as the main obstacles to their implementation;
  4. Summarise the results of the discussions and generate specific input so that policymakers can be more informed when preparing relevant initiatives.

The research team will adopt a participatory approach to the research involving a variety of tools such as evidence review, expert survey, citizen engagement, scenario development and policy analysis.