Posted on Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 11:48
Rome, 29 June 2020 – The IPPC Secretariat organized the meeting on promotion of plant health’s contribution to food security. The meeting was opened by Ms Beth BECHDOL, the FAO DDG, and chaired by Mr Jingyuan XIA, the IPPC Secretary. Several important guests were invited to make keynote addresses at the meeting, including H.E. Thanawat TIENSIN, CFS Chairperson; Mr Chris HEGADORN, CFS Secretary; Mr Juan Carlos GARCIA CEBOLLA, Right to Food Team Leader; and Mr Ralf LOPIAN, IYPH ISC Chairperson. The main discussion of the meeting focused on any potential synergies to continue promoting plant health in the food-security discourse.
In her opening remarks, Ms BECHDOL expressed her appreciation for this collaboration and invited all parties involved to continue cooperating because “I am strongly convinced that plant health and food security are deeply intertwined – she stated – and therefore I believe that much can be accomplished by cooperation amongst the CFS, the Right to Food Team and the IPPC community. Ensuring plant health is essential to ensure the right to food, since plants are life”.
Mr LOPIAN, recalled that the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) proclaimed 2020 the IYPH aiming at “raising awareness of the importance of plant health and the economic, social and environmental impact of plant health on food security and ecosystem functions”. He noted that the current collaboration heads in the right direction for the coming IYPH activities, especially for the World Food Day 2020 and the forty-seventh session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS-47).
H.E. TIENSIN recognised the importance of raising the profile of plant health in food security discussions within the CFS, underlining the link with the One Health approach, which is currently being included in many on-going negotiations. He also informed about the revisited timetable and plan for CFS-47 due to the current pandemic, extending an informal invitation to the IPPC Secretariat and Right to Food Team to contribute and participate in the coming discussions.
Mr HEGADORN expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to continue collaborating with the IPPC community, suggesting that plant health may find a very suitable space in the current CFS discussion on Agroecology and innovation and the upcoming CFS session.
Mr GARCIA highlighted the role that plant health plays in achieving the successful implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food.
Mr XIA expressed his high appreciation to all participants for their invaluable comments and positive contribution. He noted that there are tremendous opportunities for the IYPH to promote this topic. “The collaboration amongst all the parties involved – he argued – is the best way to achieve our common goals and strengthen our collaboration during and beyond the International Year of Plant Health”.