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Info session on “Climate change as a driver of emerging risks for food and feed safety, plant, animal health and nutritional quality”

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An online info‐session, held on the 8th of October 2020, was organized by EFSA to communicate the results of the recently concluded CLEFSA project: Climate change as a driver of emerging risks for food and feed safety, plant, animal health and nutritional quality. The project developed and tested new methodologies for the identification, characterisation and analysis of emerging risks linked with climate change, and described the uncertainties related to working in data‐poor environments. A report on the project was published on 25 June 2020. The overall aim of this event was to discuss and disseminate the CLEFSA report to an international audience including EFSA panels and Scientific Committee members, European Commission services, sister agencies, H2020 projects, national agencies inside and outside the EU, international organisations with relevant expertise, coordinators of relevant international projects and programmes, farmers, breeders and citizens at large, and to identify opportunities for promoting synergies across related activities. After the opening plenary session describing the CLEFSA report, the participants discussed area‐specific synergies and interactions with other projects/activities in the following fields: 1) contaminants,2) animal health,3) biological hazards to human health and 4) methodologies for emerging risks identification, characterisation and analysis. During the final plenary session possibilities for further actions and collaborations were presented. It was concluded that CLEFSA has been successful in bringing together the expertise of different stakeholders to address a complex, multidisciplinary problem, characterised by a high level of uncertainty. As a follow up, EFSA should strive to engage a wider variety of stakeholders, such as citizens, farmers or local authorities, in the implementation of systemic approaches for its emerging risks identification process, strengthen its collaboration with international bodies such as IPCC to disseminate its work on climate change and focus on a more detailed risk characterisation of priority issues.