The UN has decided to establish an annual day to raise awareness of the importance of plant health. From now on, International Plant Health Day will be celebrated every 12 May.
The initiative, driven by Zambia, was one of the legacies of the International Year of Plant Health, which took place in 2020-2021. A good plant health is a fundamental piece of the health of the planet, the diversity of species and our own health.
Up to 40% of food crop losses are related to plant pests and diseases, aggravating hunger all around the world and putting at risk agricultural sustainability. Climate change, globalisation and decades of agricultural intensification are key factors of the emergence and spread of further pests and diseases.
But not only food crops are affected by this issues, Medicinal Aromatic Plants are also in danger due to the loss of biodiversity associated with these factors.
The International Day of Plant Health, as remarked by FAO, has five specific objectives:
1. Increase awareness of the importance of keeping plants healthy to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).
2. Campaign to minimize the risk of spreading plant pests through trade and travel, by triggering compliance with international plant health standards.
3. Strengthen monitoring and early warning systems to protect plants and plant health.
4. Enable sustainable pest and pesticide management to keep plants healthy while protecting the environment.
5. Promote investment in plant health innovations, research, capacity development and outreach.
Mark May 12th on your calendar to celebrate this significant day!