2020 marks the first-ever International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). It was established by the United Nations in an effort to increase public understanding of how plant health may help people live healthier lives, protect the environment, and accomplish sustainability goals.
Honor and safeguard plants
Since plants provide 80% of the world's food and nearly 98% of the oxygen present on Earth, life would not be possible without them. In addition, we rely on plants for a wide range of necessities for a comfortable living, including clothing, fuel, paper, medicine, and shelter.
Additionally, thriving plants support biodiversity, the preservation of the environment, and the mitigation of the negative consequences of climate change.
Despite this, the global community has not given plant health much attention. The health of plants worldwide is constantly threatened by pests, diseases, climate change, human activities, such as global trade and travel, and these factors together.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Finland requested that the United Nations General Assembly adopt a resolution on December 20th, 2018, designating 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. IYPH's main goal is to increase public awareness of the issue and make sure that both the general public and decision-makers take plant health seriously.
Food security and poverty elimination
To feed the world's population, keep people out of poverty, and sustain economies, healthy plants are essential. But each year, pests and diseases cause damage to over 40% of the world's plants, resulting in a shortage of food and a rise in food prices. The agriculture industry is also badly impacted, endangering livelihoods and regional and global economies.
The UN has recognized this fact by designating 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. Healthy plants support healthy people, societies, and economies. Healthy plants result in people having access to affordable, nutrient-dense foods, the growth of agricultural communities, and the advancement of national economies.
Taking Care of the Environment
As a result of recent temperature and precipitation fluctuations brought on by climate change, plants all over the world are now more vulnerable to new pests, diseases, and invasive species. Animals, birds, and other living species that depend on plants for food, shelter, and survival have been adversely affected by this, which has had a devastating impact on biodiversity.
The IYPH provides a platform for a number of biodiversity and environmental groups to inform the public and policymakers on the relationship between plant health and regional and global environments. They hope to influence the fight against climate change to prioritize plant health.
A Greener Future Through Investment
Encouragement of policymakers and stakeholders to exchange and collaborate on best practices in plant health as well as work toward investing in and creating new technologies and techniques to battle pests and plant diseases is one of the main objectives of the IYPH. Additionally, laws that limit the transmission of pathogens and pests through international trade and travel have been put in place.
Fighting global warming and accomplishing the objectives outlined in the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be accomplished in large part by maintaining and increasing the health of our plants and forests.
Partnership between the public and the government is necessary to guarantee that plant health continues to be a top priority. We can all ensure that the plants around us are healthy by taking care of them as individuals. These actions could involve ensuring that we are aware of the risks associated with cross-border plant and seed transportation, employing environmentally friendly farming and planting practices, promoting the planting of trees, and protecting bees, which are thought to be nature's most effective pollinators.