FAO approves Finnish Proposal to Celebrate International Year of Plant Health
The 40th Session of the FAO Conference, the governing body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, has approved on 5 July 2017 a resolution with the aim to declare the year 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH 2020). The proposal for the IYPH 2020, which was initiated by Finland in 2015, received considerable support by many delegations.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, which prepared the proposal and which undertook considerable efforts to promote it globally, considers that the main objective of the IYPH will be to raise awareness of the importance and impacts of plant health in addressing issues of global importance, including hunger, poverty, food security, and threats to the environment and economic development. It aims at addressing new and emerging plant health challenges, including the impact of climate change, the significant increase in international trade, the rapid loss of biodiversity, and the new pest pathways such as e-commerce by developing more efficient national, regional and global policies, structures and mechanisms.
Several delegations expressed their thanks to Finland for championing the proposal. Also FAO thanked Finland for its considerable work it had invested to bring the proposal forward. To promote the IYPH the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, the Finnish Embassy to FAO and the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Organization had organized an evening reception at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
The IYPH, which is thought to be equally important to all countries world-wide is especially thought to be essential to achieve humanities primary objective - reach zero hunger. But also the global economic development and poverty alleviation were thought to be positively influenced by plant health and its effects on safe international trade. In general, the IYPH is thought to be an essential tool to reach the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The approval by the FAO Conference does not present the final decision on the proclamation of IYPH 2020. The final decision on the proclamation will be undertaken by the United Nations General Assembly at its next meeting.