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The 12th meeting of the IYPH International Steering Committee held virtually

Posted on Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 08:05

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Rome, 24 November 2020. Members of the International Steering Committee (ISC) for the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) convened virtually at their 12th meeting to discuss the progress of the IYPH activities. The meeting was chaired by Mr Ralf Lopian, the IYPH ISC Chairperson, and attended by 38 members and observers from IYPH ISC, FAO regional offices and the IYPH Secretariat. The IPPC Officer in Charge, Mr Avetik Nersisyan opened the meeting and informed the participants that the vacant position of the IPPC Secretary is now open for applications until 10 January 2021.

While IYPH key global events have been postponed to the first semester of 2021, the process to proclaim the first International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) in May 2022 keeps moving forward. After being endorsed by the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG) at their 27th session on 1 October, the proposal will be a subject of discussion at the 165th FAO Council in December 2020. Zambia who tabled the proposal of the IDPH agreed to send a letter to the IPPC contracting parties and the Chairs of the seven FAO regional groups to ask for their support for the proclamation process.

The Secretariat has had initial discussion with several youth groups to initiate a drafting process of an IYPH Youth Declaration in January 2021. As one key legacy of the Year, the development of the Youth Declaration will unite young voices in bringing forward their views on the role of healthy plants in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Secretariat will launch an open call for interest in early December to encourage youth groups all around the world to join the initiative. The Youth Declaration will provide a platform for the youth to express their ideas for concrete actions on how to achieve plant health globally and involve them in raising awareness of the topic.

With regard to IYPH communications, the renowned garden designer Monty Don has been appointed as the Special Goodwill Ambassador for Europe and Chef Rodrigo Pacheco as the Special Goodwill Ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean. Garden designer and TV personality Diarmuid Gavin has been appointed as an IYPH Champion and will help convey IYPH messages across Europe and Ireland. The IYPH Secretariat is reaching out to other nominees to cover rest of the FAO regions.

The IYPH ISC Chairperson informed the participants that due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the International Plant Health Conference will most probably be held in a hybrid fashion, which combines in-person and virtual attendance. Finland will look into the possibility of listing the conference as a preparatory meeting for the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

The study report on the impacts of climate change on plant health is moving forward according to the schedule and is currently going through the first FAO review. The IYPH Secretariat will prepare a concept note for the launch event of the study report, and for communicating and advocating its messages once published.

The report of the 12th meeting of the IYPH ISC will soon be available at https://www.ippc.int/en/ph/iyphisc/

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