In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.
In the context of the IYPH, plant health is defined as "the discipline that uses a range of measures to control and prevent pests, weeds and disease-causing organisms from spreading into new areas, especially through human interaction such as international trade".
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that up to 40 percent of food crops are lost to plant pests and diseases annually. This leaves millions of people without enough food to eat and seriously damages agriculture - the primary source of income for rural poor communities.
Furthermore, as international trade and travel expands exponentially, the risk that plant pests and diseases will spread into new areas has increased.
The IYPH focuses primarily preventing plant pests and diseases from spreading. Just as with human health, preventing disease is far more cost-effective than managing a full-blown health emergency.
IYPH activities will contribute to:
- Raising awareness that plant health is crucial for all life on earth.
- Preventing plant pests and diseases from spreading;
- Eradicating plant pests and diseases or managing them better when this is not possible; and
- Increasing funding for national and regional plant protection organizations that are the first line of defense against plant pests and diseases.
However, the real results of the IYPH will be seen over the longer term as people become more aware of how their actions contribute to plant health. Healthier plants will increase food security and decrease poverty especially among people whose livelihoods depend on agriculture or forestry. The environment will also benefit from healthier plants and environmentally-friendly plant health practices such as integrated pest management.
DAERA, Plant Health Division (PHD), with the support of the wider Forest Service Agency, have assumed responsibility for coordinating, organising and promoting events to mark and celebrate the IYPH 2020.
Please get in contact with Plant Health Inspection Branch on the email address below if you or your organistaion would like to mark ths special designated year.
Email : email@example.com