In March 2008, the Commission asked EFSA to further develop and update the current environmental guidance. This approach was supported in the Council conclusions of December 2008. The guidance covers specifically the potential effects of GM plants on non-target organisms (i.e. species directly or indirectly exposed to GM plants which are non-target of the newly expressed compounds of the plant), the selection of representative receiving environment (i.e. environment into which the GM plant will be released) including identification of EU geographic regions, appropriate techniques to assess the long-term effects of GM plants and the experimental design for field trials in order to assess the potential ecological effects of GM plants.