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University teams up with United Nations body to highlight EU pesticide research project

The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), based at University of Gloucestershire, is collaborating with an agency of the United Nations to raise awareness of an EU-funded research project assessing the impact of pesticides on environmental and human health.

The SPRINT project is investigating the impacts of pesticides on the ecosystem, crops, livestock and communities in Europe and South America, with the ambition of driving forward the transition to more sustainable plant protection products.

As part of the collaboration, the CCRI and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations organised a joint webinar featuring presentations aimed at highlighting the ongoing work of SPRINT.

The CCRI was represented by Dr Matt Reed, Associate Professor in Food Citizenship, Jane Mills, Associate Professor in Agri-environmental behaviours, and research assistants Dr Charlotte Chivers and Honor Mackley-Ward.

Dr Matt Reed, Associate Professor in Food Citizenship

Attendees came from a range of backgrounds, including international organisations, governmental bodies, non-governmental organisations, academia, and the private sector.

Dr Reed, Director of CCRI who chaired the webinar, said: “The event was a great success, with more than 120 attendees from every continent except Antarctica, and lively discussion throughout.

“As well as explaining the impact of SPRINT, the webinar was a great opportunity to put the University and the CCRI on the world stage and meet with other researchers from other organisations with whom we hope to work with on key projects in the future.”

Presentations by SPRINT researchers from Wageningen University and Research and Radboud University in the Netherlands, alongside Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, highlighted how SPRINT is making an internationally valid contribution to research.

Beatrice Grenier of the FAO explained how the aims of SPRINT align closely with several of the UN’s sustainable development goals through contributing to achieving sustainable agriculture.

Rex Horgan, of the EU’s health and safety Directorate-General, explained that SPRINT is closely linked with the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy, with the project playing a role in finding a path towards sustainable food production.