Recovery in environmental risk assessments at EFSA
EFSA performs environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for single potential stressors such as plant protection products, genetically modified organisms and feed additives and for invasive alien species that are harmful for plant health. In this risk assessment domain, the EFSA Scientific Committee recognises the importance of more integrated ERAs considering both the local and landscape scales, as well as the possible co-occurrence of multiple potential stressors that fall under the remit of EFSA, which are important when addressing ecological recovery. In this scientific opinion, the Scientific Committee gathered scientific knowledge on the potential for the recovery of non-target organisms for the further development of ERA. Current EFSA guidance documents and opinions were reviewed on how ecological recovery is addressed in ERA schemes. In addition, this scientific opinion is based on expert knowledge and data retrieved from the literature. Finally, the information presented in this opinion was reviewed by experts from the relevant EFSA Panels, European risk assessment bodies and through an open consultation requesting input from stakeholders. A conceptual framework was developed to address ecological recovery for any assessed products, and invasive alien species that are harmful for plant health. This framework proposes an integrative approach based on well-defined specific protection goals, scientific knowledge derived by means of experimentation, modelling and monitoring, and the selection of focal taxa, communities, processes and landscapes to develop environmental scenarios to allow the assessment of recovery of organisms and ecological processes at relevant spatial and temporal scales.