The United Nations has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).
Despite the disruptive effects of the COVID pandemic on this year’s events calendar, the organisers of the International Year of Plant Health remain committed to raising awareness of plant health during 2020.
In the UK, Defra’s Plant Health Team have joined forces with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Forestry Commission to deliver a range of events during the latter half of the year. Members may have already seen a recent digital campaign on Facebook and Instagram titled #healthyplantshealthyminds to highlight the link between plants and wellbeing. This campaign reached 93,000 people and has secured public support from designer Adam Frost and botanist James Wong.
National Plant Health Week will run between 17th and 27th September 2020, during which a range of activities will be planned. A new website, www.yearofplanthealth.co.uk, has been launched to provide information to the public about the initiative, and will be used to promote events nearer the time.
Update June 2020 - Defra Tree Consultation
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is inviting stakeholders to respond to their ‘England Tree Strategy’ consultation. This consultation, which began on Friday 19 June 2020 and closes on Friday 11 September 2020, will shape a new England Tree Strategy due to be published by the government later this year.
The strategy will shape Defra’s forestry policy through to 2050 and include proposals for woodland creation, as well as tree and woodland protection, together with initiatives to increase public engagement with trees and woodlands.
BALI members can take part in the consultation by clicking here
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.
Plants are the source of the air we breathe and most of the food we eat, yet we often don’t think about keeping them healthy. This can have devastating results. FAO estimates that up to 40% of food crops are lost due 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.
Plant health is increasingly under threat. Climate change, and human activities, have altered ecosystems, reducing biodiversity and creating new niches where pests can thrive. At the same time, international travel and trade has tripled in volume in the last decade and can quickly spread pests and diseases around the world causing great damage to native plants and the environment.
Protecting plants from pests and diseases is far more cost-effective than dealing with full-blown plant health emergencies. Plant pests and diseases are often impossible to eradicate once they have established themselves and managing them are time-consuming and expensive. Prevention is critical to avoiding the devastating impact of pests and diseases on agriculture, livelihoods and food security and many of us have a role to play.
We all have a role to play
- Everyone needs to avoid taking plants and plant products with them when travelling across borders.
- People in the transportation industries need to make sure that ships, aeroplanes, trucks and trains don’t carry plant pests and diseases into new areas.
- Governments need to increase their support to national and regional plant protection organisations that are the first line of defence.
We want to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and we can all play a role in this by keeping our plants healthy
Use #IYPH2020 to raise awareness about the importance of #PlantHealth and share best practices
Watch the promo video
- A pioneering project to tackle ash dieback launches International Year of Plant Health in the UK with Defra Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence planting one of the last Ash trees in the Ash Archive.
- Plant Health Portal - Defra
- Ash Tree Research Strategy - Defra
- Why Plants are Important - Defra
- Tree Health Management Plan - Defra
- Reporting Pests and Diseases - Defra
- UK Plant Health Risk Register - Defra
- UK Plant Health Information Portal - Defra
- Plant Health Protected Zones - Defra
- Forestry Commission - Tree Alert
- UK Research and Innovation International Year of Plant Health 2020
- Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations Plant Health 2020
- Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations IYPH2020 Events
- Plant Biosecurity Strategy - Defra
- Smarter Rules for Safer Foods (SRSF)