Closing events of the International Year of Plant Health discussed at the 15th meeting of the IYPH International Steering Committee

Posted on Tue, 02 Mar 2021, 09:46

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©FAO/ Manan Vatsyayana

Rome, 2 March 2021. The International Steering Committee (ISC) for the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) convened virtually for its 15th meeting to discuss the action plan for the IYPH activities in 2021. Altogether 32 members from the IYPH ISC and observers from FAO regional offices and IYPH Secretariat staff participated at the meeting to discuss the way forward for the last months of the official IYPH activities.

The meeting, chaired by Mr. Ralf Lopian, the IYPH ISC chairperson, started with an update on the IYPH youth declaration. The IYPH Secretariat informed the ISC that the first draft of the youth declaration is underway, and that the full declaration will be presented at the IYPH Closing Ceremony on 1 July. The drafting committee now consists of 23 youth entities ranging from start-ups to NGOs, student groups and global networks.

The International Steering Committee then discussed the progress on study report on the impact of climate change on plant pests and hence plant health. Results and recommendations of the study report will be presented at a virtual launch on 1 June and will provide scientific basis for IPPC community’s future actions on assessing and managing the impact of climate change on plant health.

The meeting followed with a presentation on the communications plan of the IYPH, this started by discussing the IYPH advocates’ activities, including Monty Don’s “The world is in your hands” interview with UNRIC also featured on the UN news, Diarmund Gavin’s Instagram live conversation with Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and the successful release of Chef Rodrigo Pacheco’s IYPH video on social media.

The IYPH airport campaign to promote awareness on pest spread was also addressed, as this has been currently halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the campaign to be postponed to when international travel will be open again. The statuts of the different IYPH contests was also addressed, including the closure of both the IYPH art and drawing competition, and the IYPH photo contest, the latter yielding a total of 669 valid entries. To conclude the update on communications, the IYPH Secretariat informed the ISC that the cumulative reach of the IYPH on social media platforms has gained potential views already from more than 278 million social media accounts.

The ISC also discussed the webinar series that will pave the way towards the first international plant health conference, which has been postponed to May 2022. The high-level virtual event to present the results of the study report on the impact of climate change on plant health on 1 June will inaugurate the series. The launch will be followed by a two-day webinar on 29-30 June, focusing on food systems and climate change respectively. The third webinar in the series is scheduled for October and concentrates on pest outbreak alert and response systems, and the fourth one will take place in December, focusing on synergies between plant health and fruit and vegetables, at the occasion of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021.

The report of the 15th meeting of the IYPH ISC will soon be available at https://www.ippc.int/en/ph/iyphisc/

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