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Sprouting stronger roots - the international support for IYPH 2020 increases

Posted on Wed, 22 Jul 2015, 16:50

The proposal to observe an International Year of Plant Health in 2020 (IYPH 2020) gains more and more momentum in the international plant protection community. The proposal to proclaim the IYPH 2020, adopted at the last meeting of the IPPC Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), has been further promoted by IPPC contracting parties and the IPPC Secretariat and it received encouraging comments and strong support from a variety of sources. The IYPH 2020 was raised and promoted at the FAO Conference, the EU Council of Ministers, the CPM Bureau, the IPPC Financial Committee, the "International Workshop on Phytosanitary Threats" in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and the EU Conference “Climate change and food security: challenges for plant health, plant breeding and genetic resources” held in Milan (Italy) in July 2015.

In June 2015, the 39th Session of the FAO Conference warmly welcomed the IYPH 2020 initiative. During the FAO Conference, Finland stated that it intends to formally make a request to the FAO Director General to establish an IYPH in 2020. It received strong and broad support from several other FAO members including FAO members from every continent and every development stage.

In June 2015, the IYPH 2020 was discussed at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the European Union and it again received strong backing from several EU Member States and the EU Commission. Under the energetic leadership of the then Latvian Presidency of the EU the IYPH 2020 has been earmarked as an important initiative.

At the recent meetings of the CPM Bureau and the Financial Committee, the IYPH 2020 was extensively discussed and plans were developed to further the initiative. The CPM Bureau decided that detailed objectives and a work programme for the proclamation of the IYPH 2020 will be discussed extensively at the meeting of the IPPC Strategic Planning Group in October 2015. In addition, the CPM Bureau gave the green light to the establishment of an IYPH 2020 volunteer programme aimed at mobilizing staff resources in the form of volunteers.

Also in June 2015, the IPPC Secretariat organized the first IPPC Seminar, an internal FAO event, during which a presentation on the IYPH 2020 was delivered. Participants from different FAO departments expressed their encouragement and support to the initiative and articulated their willingness to collaborate and cooperate.

The IPPC Secretariat presented the initiative for an IYPH 2020 to the "International Workshop on Phytosanitary Threats" organized by the Sociedade Brasileira de Defesa Agropecuaria in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in June 2015. The initiative was extremely welcomed and noted by important groups in the Brazilian industry, academia and research.

Finally, in July 2015, the EU Commission organized, in the framework of the Milan Expo 2015 a conference on “Climate change and food security: challenges for plant health, plant breeding and genetic resources”. The IPPC Secretariat was invited to provide the keynote speech to that event. Under the title "Impact of climate change, emerging risks and plant diseases on food security" the IPPC Secretariat promoted the initiative of establishing an IYPH in 2020.

The IPPC Secretariat is extremely motivated and encouraged further promote the proclamation of the IYPH 2020 at a number of regional workshops, RPPO annual meetings, the Technical Consultations amongst RPPOs and targeted scientific conferences.