United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has proclaimed 2020 the International Year of Plant Health to raise global awareness of plant health, and its role in increasing food security. The UNGA Plenary approved the draft resolution during the 73rd session in New York City on December 20, 2018.
“The International Year of Plant Health offers a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for plant protection professionals to promote plant health to policy makers, stakeholders and society,” says Ralf Lopian, chair of the International Year of Plant Health Steering Committee. “The year demonstrates that plant health is an indispensable precondition to achieving zero hunger, zero poverty, economic development and environmental protection.”
As a member of the Steering Committee, the International Seed Federation (ISF) has been actively involved in coordinating efforts by its national seed associations to collaborate with their national plant protection offices on activities planned to promote the International Year of Plant Health.
“Plants are the foundation of life on earth and we are proud to be part of this initiative to protect the world’s plant resources from pests,” says ISF secretary general Michael Keller. “We will be strengthening our stakeholder engagement to garner support for the International Year of Plant Health, and to highlight the importance of healthy seed to plant health.”
To drive this engagement, ISF is working with its member associations to develop an action plan in collaboration with the International Plant Protection Convention for events and activities in 2020 to mark the International Year of Plant Health.
It is anticipated that the International Year of Plant Health will support the implementation of the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures on the International Movement of Seed that was adopted in 2017.