The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

The strategy sets out the Scottish Government's approach to the protection of the health of plants, including agricultural and horticultural crops, and plants in parks and gardens, forestry and the natural environment, in Scotland.

Appendix 1. Actions for the Scottish Plant Health Strategy 2016-21

Section Topic Action Notes
5.1 Risk based decision making Scotland to continue to play its part in UK plant health efforts SG officials will continue to contribute to UK plant health meetings, including the UK Plant Health Risk Group, to protect Scottish interests, influence UK decisions and maintain collaboration across the UK.
    Identify Scottish pest risks and priorities We will develop a government plant health forum to agree priority actions in collaboration with existing advisory groups.
    Develop stakeholder participation We aim to develop a mechanism, e.g. a stakeholder network, for all Scottish plant sectors to be informed of pest risks, to contribute to discussions on priorities and therefore to take actions to deal with identified pest risks
5.2 Increased awareness and involvement Publicise information on pest risks for all sectors By creating a network of all sectors in Scotland and by working with the UK Plant Health Service, SG will increase the availability of information on pest risks and actions for all stakeholders.

We will ensure all target audiences are aware of their responsibilities to help prevent the spread of pests.

We will provide points of contact and, where appropriate, best practice guidelines.
    Governance We will identify clear roles and responsibilities and build better relationships between SG departments. Areas for early attention are clarification of plant health roles, responsibilities and resource allocation for the natural environment and urban trees.
    Stakeholder engagement We will work with all sectors to develop and improve engagement activity on plant health issues
    Biosecurity We will increase the awareness of biosecurity to protect plant health by participation in UK/ GB campaigns, via social or traditional media or relevant publicity at Scottish shows, meetings and workshops.
5.3 Pre-border measures Scottish involvement in pre-border activities SG will continue to contribute to and influence UK negotiating positions on EU plant health regulations to ensure Scottish priorities are included, to deliver more effective plant health protection, and reduce the risk of harmful pest introductions.

Scottish experts will continue to contribute to development of international standards.
    Exports SG will continue to contribute to UK export negotiations and lead the coordination of a UK position for certain commodities which are particularly relevant to Scotland e.g. seed potatoes. We will actively participate in hosting visits from plant health officials (inward missions).

We will look at the inward mission model with interested stakeholders to assess if it could be beneficial for other sectors to help develop their export markets.

We will continue to work with Scottish exporters to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities to inspect material and not spread pests.
5.4 Border measures (imports from outside the EU) Border inspections SG inspectors will continue to inspect regulated material at import and conduct risk-based inspections of unregulated trades.

We will support UK Plant Health Service activities with Border Force to ensure passenger baggage allowances are clear and to gain intelligence on risks and raise awareness.

We will support publicity campaigns for example on passenger baggage allowance or distance selling/internet trade.
5.5 Inland measures and intra- EU trade Strengthened EU plant health regime requirements We will work with stakeholders and registered operators to implement the new EU Regulation on Protective Measures against Pests of Plants to ensure it delivers greater protection from pests and, where possible, avoid unnecessary additional burdens.
    Surveillance We will fulfil mandatory surveillance obligations for EU priority pests and increase surveillance for other pests where we have determined this is a priority.

We will engage with stakeholders to develop initiatives for surveillance and reporting, for example Observatree, Tree Alert and possible networks of amateur gardeners.
    Improved technology We will work with others to develop and implement new technology to improve diagnostic capability wherever possible.
    Contingency planning We will engage with stakeholders to update the SG's generic contingency plan and publish it on the SG web site. In partnership with the UK Plant Health Service, we will contribute to and develop pest specific plans identified using the risk register.

We will develop and/or undertake regular simulation exercises to test our plans.

We will review the effectiveness of our procedures and measures and make changes as necessary.

We will support initiatives to build resilience in plant communities.
5.6 Evidence Scottish Centre of Expertise (CoE) for Plant Health Scottish Government is proposing to commission a Scottish CoE for Plant Health in early 2016.
    Research commissioning SG will support plant health research through the Strategic Research Programme, Forest Research Programme, Contract Research Fund and the CoE. We will ensure compatibility across research programmes to maximise synergy and prevent duplication of effort.

When commissioning research, we will take into account social, economic and environmental impacts of pest outbreaks, especially in the natural environment. This integrated approach will be further facilitated by the proposed CoE and areas with shortfalls, such as modelling, will be strengthened through skills transfer or research funding
    Participation in plant health research We will continue to participate in relevant collaborative research projects.
5.7 Capability and capacity Maintain and enhance capacity and capability We will support initiatives to maintain and enhance key skills and capacity, including citizen science, for Scotland and address any gaps.

We will contribute to the next phase of the 'Animal and Plant Health in the UK - Building our Science Capability' project through the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health.

We will support the UK Chief Plant Health Officer's initiative for a skills pathway for plant health and Register of Plant Health Professionals.
Scottish Chief Plant Health Officer (SCPHO)
We will appoint a SCPHO.
    Education and training We will support developments to increase plant health awareness and engage with sector professionals and volunteers ( e.g. Observatree), via training courses and by promoting plant health as a career.


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