International Year of Plant Health 2020

International Year of Plant Health 2020

Plant Health Australia is counting down to the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020. PHA and the Department of Agriculture are helping to coordinate promotion of the year in Australia.

The year-long campaign is being led by the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO).

Using the slogan ‘Protecting plants, protecting life’, the overarching goal is to raise awareness of plant health with government, industry and the wider community.

Plant health

Protecting the health of plants is vital for human health, food security, trade, the economy and environment.

The focus is on pests and diseases because they have the greatest impact on crops, the health of our environment and our way of life.

Plant diseases alone cost the global economy around US$220 billion every year and invasive insects cost around US$70 billion a year. These pests wipe out up to 40% of global food crops annually.

Goal of the year

The goal of the IYPH is to mobilise governments, industries, organisations, scientists and the public to:

  • work together in protecting the world’s plants against the spread of devastating pests
  • encourage scientific innovation to address pest threats
  • promote responsible practices that reduce pest spread
  • increase public and private sector support for more sustainable plant health strategies and services.

In Australia

Australia is fortunate to be free from many serious plant pests that exist overseas, due to more than a century of effective quarantine measures and our geographic isolation. But our agricultural industries, landscapes and biodiversity are under threat from pests and diseases.

What’s at stake is our plant industries, which produce more than $30 billion worth of produce each year, and our natural environments such as our national parks, that have been estimated to deliver more than $6 trillion worth of benefits to Australia.

Factors such as international and interstate movement, tourism and the increasing volume of goods moved into and around the country are all contributing to these increasing risks.

Everyone plays a role in keeping Australia free of pests and diseases – from travellers coming to Australia, to farmers monitoring their crops or city dwellers who have a veggie patch.

PHA is looking forward to harnessing the IYPH to build awareness of the importance of plant health in Australia and its wide-ranging impacts.

The celebrations are being coordinated by the Australian IYPH 2020 team: a steering committee led by the office of Australia’s Chief Plant Protection Officer within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

A website for the IYPH in Australia will be launched soon to host an event calendar, resources and links.

Acknowledgement: this was reproduced from an article by Plant Health Australia