The project

The project is divided into three distinct stages:

Stage 1:  Selecting species for risk assessment (preparatory work)

Action A1 will select 16 high priority invasive alien plant species from the EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants and the horizon scanning EU study for risk assessment.  EPPO and the Panel on Invasive Alien Plants will meet for a 3-day workshop to modify the Prioritization Process.  Modifications are required to prioritise the top 16 species from a list of 37, in full compliance with the Regulation. Stage 1 will produce a risk-based list of invasive alien plants prioritised in compliance with the Regulation from which the top 16 will undergo risk analysis.

Stage 2: Risk assessment of 16 invasive alien plant species

Action A2 will update the EPPO Express DSS to include all requirements set out in the Regulation.  Modules on ecosystem services and climate change, along with socio-economic aspects will be incorporated into the scheme. 

Action A3 will select seven international experts for each expert working group.  Through this action international experts will be identified and invited to an expert working group which will assess two plant species.

Action A4 will model (map) the current and potential distribution of each of the 16 invasive alien plant species based on current and future climatic conditions.  Using data on species environmental niche and available distributions in the native and invaded range, models will be built using the most up to-date computer programmes. 

Action A5 will draft a risk assessment document for each species ahead of the expert working groups.  Through literature and data reviews all available information on a species will be complied into one working document that will act as the foundation for discussions during meetings.

Action A6 involves the meeting of the expert working group to conduct the risk assessments.   All information on the species will be compiled using robust scientific judgement and the experts will assign rating scores for the likelihood of the species entering the pest risk area, the likelihood of establishment, the rate of spread, the magnitude of impact in the current area of distribution and the magnitude of impact in the area of potential distribution. Stage 2 will produce 16 risk assessment documents complied by leading experts which are fully compliant with the Regulation (EU) no. 1143/2014.  Each risk assessment produced in stage 2 will undergo the peer review process in stage 3.

Stage three: Peer review process

Action A7 involves the peer review process in which each risk assessment will under-go a peer-review by (a) the EPPO Core Members Group for PRA, (b) the Panel on Invasive Alien Plants, and (c) the EPPO Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations.  This stage will produce the main output of the IAP-RISK project – a scientifically sound, robust, fully peer-reviewed risk assessment for each of the 16 species.