Call for expression of interest – Drafting of a Youth Declaration for the International Year of Plant Health 2020

Posted on Fri, 27 Nov 2020, 17:40

Deadline on Mon, 21 Dec 2020, 10:00

Plants are the source of the air we breathe and most of the food we eat. They play a central part in combatting climate change through capturing carbon and storing it back into the soil and the plant through their roots. Yet we often do not pay enough attention to keeping our plants healthy or to restoring their environment. Ignoring these issues can have devastating results. FAO estimates that up to 40 percent of food crops are lost to plant pests and diseases annually. This leaves millions of people without enough food to eat and seriously damages those livelihoods that are dependent on agriculture – the primary source of income for poor rural communities. Preserving healthy plants is a global challenge that requires international cooperation.

The ongoing International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.

In order to engage the youth more closely with the important cause of the IYPH, the IPPC Secretariat is looking for motivated youth groups to join a drafting committee for an IYPH Youth Declaration.

The call is open for youth groups that are mandated to take action in areas such as the environment, biodiversity, soil health, climate change, agriculture, food security, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, trade or other relevant fields. The idea of the declaration is to unite young voices in bringing forward their views on the role of healthy plants in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in expressing their ideas for concrete actions on how to achieve plant health globally and to involve them in raising global, regional and national awareness on the topic. The declaration can be accompanied by an open letter.

Candidates are requested to indicate their interest in joining the drafting committee by Monday 21 December 11am Rome time by sending a brief introduction of their group to the IYPH mailbox at [email protected].

The first meeting of the drafting committee will take place in mid-January. The declaration should be published in April 2020, and its key messages should be delivered, in a chosen format, at the first ever International Plant Health Conference in Helsinki or virtually, in late June 2021.

The Youth Declaration is meant to be a message from the Youth, to the Youth. This means that the content and the concrete actions described in the declaration is up to the youth to decide. The IYPH Secretariat will provide technical support in the process, if deemed necessary. The declaration should be actionable and concrete, and somehow reflect the key messages of the IYPH and the Ministerial Declaration of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures regarding Plant Health. The IYPH webpages may also provide some inspiration for content creation. The declaration may also reference from the key IPPC publications, such as the IPPC factsheet series, the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030 (which is to be adopted at the CPM-15 in 2021) and the IPPC Convention text.

The IYPH Youth Declaration is considered to be one of the key legacies of the IYPH 2020. We encourage all interested youth groups to join this important initiative!

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