The First Annual Meeting of the HOMED project was held from 27-29 November in Padova, Italy. The meeting marked the end of the first year of work for the Holistic Management of Emerging Forest Pests and Diseases (HOMED) Project. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and with 23 partners from 15 countries, HOMED aims to develop scientific knowledge and practical solutions for the management of pests and pathogens threatening European forests. Around 50 project partners met with scientists, forestry and communication experts discussing outcomes of the work conducted during the past 12 months, and research actions to be undertaken in the coming year. The final day of the meeting was held in the beautiful and inspiring Orto Botanico di Padova, the oldest botanical garden in the world. 

As a trade partner of growing importance to Europe, South Africa is represented in the consortium with Dr Trudy Paap leading the work undertaken by FABI. A sentinel planting of European species has been established on the University of Pretoria Experimental Farm, and together with specimens of selected European species in arboreta and botanical gardens across the country, these plants will be monitored for the presence of insect pests and pathogens. A reciprocal planting of South African species has been established in Italy.