International Day of Plant Health

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in March 2022 passed a resolution to mark May 12th as International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise awareness regarding the safety of plants and the importance of protecting plant health.

Which countries signed the resolution?

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution was co-signed by countries like Bolivia, Finland, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Zambia.

What are the objectives of the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH)?

  1. To increase the awareness regarding the importance of keeping plants healthy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 i.e Zero Hunger.
  2. To minimize the risk of the spread of plant pests through international travel and trade.
  3. To strengthen early warning systems to protect plant health.
  4. To ensure sustainable pesticide management to keep plants healthy.
  5. To encourage investment in research and development regarding plant health.

Why protecting plant health is important?

Protecting plant health will help in eliminating hunger, reducing poverty, protecting biodiversity, and boosting economic growth and development. This is because Plants contribute to 80% of food needs and 98% of oxygen.

What are the threats to plants?

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year around 40% of food crops are lost due to invasive pests and diseases. Climate change and destructive human activities are also damaging the plant ecosystems and contributing to the loss of biodiversity. Global warming also helps pests to grow and thrive.

What is the impact of pest and disease attacks on plants?

Pest and disease attack damages agriculture, which leads to growing food insecurity all over the world. This also threatens rural livelihoods which are heavily dependent on agriculture. Plant diseases cost the global economy around USD 220 billion and invasive insects cost more than USD 70 billion.

When was the International Year of Plant Health celebrated?

The year 2020 was declared as International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) by the United Nations (UN). However, the IYPH was extended till 1 July 2021 to complete the pending activities, which were severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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