Environmental risk: urgent need for harmonisation

There is an urgent need for harmonisation of environmental risk assessment in different scientific fields.

That was the overall conclusion from a symposium on risk assessment and risk management cooperation on environmental protection goals, organised by the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Presentation of guidance on protection goals

EFSA’s guidance on specific protection goals for environmental risk assessment was presented at the symposium. The aim of the guidance is to provide a harmonised methodological framework using the ecosystem services concept to derive practical, specific environmental protection goals, regardless of the regulated product or organism that is being assessed.

Key messages

  • The ecosystem services concept was considered a suitable tool for deriving specific environmental protection goals, but risk managers and risk assessors need a deeper knowledge of ecosystem services.
  • Risk managers and risk assessors need to communicate in a better way – the focus should be on collaboration, discussion, dialogue and joint projects.
  • Protection goals need to be defined more precisely by the risk managers.

Summary report

A summary report is available that includes all the presentations, discussions and recommendations from the symposium, which was held in Oslo in October 2017.

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