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Joint VKM and EFSA Symposium in Oslo, 26 - 27 October 2017:

Advancing environmental risk assessment by accounting for biodiversity and ecosystem services as protection goals

How can we derive operational protection goals for use in environmental risk assessments? This question will be addressed at the Symposium where EFSA’s latest guidance on making protection goals operational will be presented.

The Symposium also aims at fostering dialogue and cooperation on protection goals between risk assessors and risk managers.

Symposium bilde 


Where: KS Agenda Meeting Centre, Oslo, Norway
When: 26 - 27 October 2017

The Symposium is free of charge and includes a light lunch on both days.

Program symposium EFSA og VKM See preliminary programme and administrative information

Please fill in our online registration form before 19 September 2017. 



First-come, first-served

We have limited seats for the Symposium, and registration is therefore on first-come, first-served basis.



For questions concerning the scientific program and venue, accommodation and registration, including cancellations, please contact us by e-mail EFSAFocalPoint-norway@vkm.no


Background for the Symposium

In June 2016, EFSA issued guidance on how to derive specific protection goals (SPGs) for use in environmental risk assessments. 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. It is imperative that risk assessors and risk managers are encouraged to be in close dialogue when defining SPGs, because setting the level of protection involves normative considerations that cannot be accounted for by risk assessors alone.

To highlight potential impacts in advance of allowing the commercial use of regulated products, or the spread of alien organisms, an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) is generally conducted to assist decision-making. ERA is an important analytical scientific tool that helps regulatory decision-making. Robust ERAs begin with an explicit problem formulation where plausible and relevant exposure scenarios and the potential adverse effects from those exposures are identified. Risk is then characterised by testing specific hypotheses about the likelihood and severity of adverse effects.

Biodiversity is one of the key protection goal often referred to in different legislative frameworks. It is, however, a very broad term when considered in a risk assessment and subsequent risk-management context. Specifying particular components of biodiversity that need protection, for example specific species or ecological processes, will define the framework in which risk assessors operate when performing ERAs, and provide more practical, specific protection goals for risk managers.

The objectives of this Symposium are to facilitate and encourage dialogue and cooperation on protection goals between risk assessors and risk managers, and to present EFSA’s latest guidance on making protection goals operational for use in ERAs.

The Symposium will include presentations from international speakers, as well as a panel discussion with representatives from environmental and food safety Agencies in the Nordic Zone.