Successful webinar on Plant Health and “One Health” approach organized by Italian research institutions

Posted on Fri, 17 Jul 2020, 09:24

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Rome, 15 July 2020. Over 200 participants joined the virtual round table organized by four Italian institutions: the Italian Entomological Society, the Italian National Academy for Entomology, the Italian Plant Protection Association, and the Italian Society for Plant Pathology, on the topic: Plant Health: a “One Health” vision.

The webinar was chaired by Antonio Pascale, a writer and inspector at the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, and opened by H.E. Teresa Bellanova, Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of the Republic of Italy. Speakers included Matteo Lorito, President of the Italian Society of Plant Pathology (SiPAV); Francesco Pennacchio, President of the Italian National Academy for Entomology (ANIE); Mirko Montuori, Project Officer at IPPC Secretariat; Alessandra Stefani, Director-General of Forests at the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies; Francesco Loreto, Director of the Department of Bio-Food Science at the Italian National Research Council (CNR); Annalisa Polverari, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee of the 26th SiPAV Congress; Pio Federico Roversi, Director at the Plant Protection and Certification Center of Italy’s Council for Research in Agriculture and the Analysis of Agricultural Economics (CREA); Vittorio Rossi, representative of the Italian Plant Protection Association (AIPP); Alberto Alma, President of the Italian Entomological Society (SEI); and Alessandro Bratti, Director-General at the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).

In opening the webinar, H.E. Bellanova recalled the importance of plant health for our lives, to sustain food security and protect the environment. She recalled the importance of the International Year of Plant Health, which comes at a time where plants are at increasing risk due to the incidence of pests and diseases. She also mentioned the need for travelers and consumers to beware of phytosanitary risks when travelling ordering plants and plant products online. Speakers highlighted the importance of plant health for the “One Health” approach, elaborated on the impact of climate change, unsafe trade and plant pests and diseases on plant health, and the importance of plant health for food security, environmental protection and biodiversity.

Speakers also highlighted some experiences in managing and controlling pests such as Dryocosmus kuriphilus, Halyomorpha halys and Matsucoccus feytaudi Ducasse, among others, recognizing the importance of prevention and diagnostics as key elements for the protection of plants.

In his remarks, Mr Montuori emphasized how the One Health approach recognizes the relation between humans, animal and environmental health, and thus requires a multi-sectoral collaboration to achieve the common goal of a better health for all. He also highlighted that, despite the crucial role played by plants for the health of our planet and biodiversity, plant health has mostly been absent from “One Health”-related discussions. He also mentioned the need to produce more and better, and invest in plant health institutions, research and partnerships to facilitate safe trade of plants and plant products.

The full recording of the round table is available here: https://youtu.be/mbn21s35oNc

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