Next year has been designated by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as the International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH2020), a momentous opportunity to celebrate the benefits of healthy plants. Promoting responsible practices that reduce the spread of plant pests and scientific innovation to address pest threats are key objectives of the IYPH2020.
We will be using this exciting opportunity to show how everyone can help to keep plants healthy, protecting the huge range of benefits plants provide to us humans, to wildlife, to the environment and to our economy.
- We want to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it, protecting our country from pests and diseases so our plants can thrive in the future.
- Factors such as globalisation of trade, increased travel and more plants and plant products entering the UK mean more threats to plant health.
- Everyone plays a role in keeping the UK free of pests and diseases – from travellers coming to our country, to growers producing crops or gardeners with an allotment.
Defra is working alongside partners with interests in plant health to plan a range of events and activities to celebrate the International Year of Plant Health, coordinated by an organising committee chaired by the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Nicola Spence. A key event will be a national Plant Health Week which will take place from 20th to 27th April in 2020, becoming an annual event thereafter. This week will provide a focus for activities aimed at industry, academics and the general public aimed at improving awareness of the importance of keeping plants healthy.
A website for the IYPH2020 in the UK will be launched soon including an event calendar, resources and links.