The International Year of Plant Health IYPH) partners meet to share ideas and build an IYPH network

Posted on Mon, 15 Apr 2019, 12:48

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The first International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020 partners meeting took place at FAO headquarters on 6 April 2019. © FAO

6 April 2019, Rome - The International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development. However, the combined effort of a wide range of partners at the global, regional and national levels is essential for making the year a success.

The IPPC Secretariat therefore organized the first IYPH Partners Coordination Meeting that brought together 50 participants from 30 countries and five international organizations, eight academic and research organizations, five industry groups, seven regional groups, nine national plant protection organizations and six FAO divisions.

The objective of the meeting was to allow organizations interested in IYPH to meet and network, share their respective ideas and programmes, and establish a coordination network to support the IYPH programme. The overall outcome of the meeting was the seed of a global network of partners and a joint calendar of events which will soon be available on the IYPH website.

Several facilitated sessions helped trigger creative ideas to promote the IYPH. These included:

  • Events such as parades, marches, musical shows, etc.
  • Speeches by high level authorities
  • Monthly campaigns around native plants
  • Stands at nurseries, gardens, gardening events
  • Banners on metros, buses, taxis, and at airports and seaports
  • Planting trees and caring for them
  • Scientific meetings and congresses
  • Public service announcements
  • Fundraising events, such as telethons, which are good for publicity but also raising funds
  • Songs and anthems that can be translated into local languages
  • Articles in airline magazines and advice on the risks of bringing plants and plant products printed on tickets
  • Citizen science
  • Materials for children and teenagers including videos, cartoons, emojis, games, apps, e-learning courses; and the reaching out to influencers and bloggers to deliver IYPH messages to young people

For more ideas on how to promote IYPH, see:

Participants then broke into smaller groups to discuss how to implement IYPH related activities at the regional level. The meeting was facilitated by Mr David Massey, a communications skills trainer, facilitator and coach with broad experience in UN agencies including the IPPC.

Figure 1. What s the best way to Promote IYPH?

Crowdsource solutions Engaging everybody in events Strengthening the science behind plant health Getting the message across Raising money Engaging future generations
Surveillance reporting systems Cooperation with large events (flower shows, sport) National multi stakeholder conference Social media campaign, e. g. Youtube videos Fundraising events to create inclusion Art contest, photo, painting, video, sculpture, music
Monitor pests with citizen science Take advantage of artistic events (carnivals etc) Capacity building project for PRA in Africa Shock people to induce change (like plastic campaign) Develop economic argument for plant health Develop school activity programmes
  Open Day including plant a tree   Local approach and language linking globally   Children s cartoons and music jingles
  Exhibitions to change public opinion   Personal stories explaining plant health   Schools and universities curriculum packages
  Enter the living plant experience (exhibition)   Documentaries (BBC, Netflix ...)   Videogames including plant health
  Ambassadors for IYPH (e.g. David Attenborough)   Communicate the goals of the IYPH    
  National and regional agricultural shows   Awareness campaign at ports and transport    
  Organise activities in city parks (urbanization)   IYPH messages in airports / railway stations    
  Taking advantages of other existing international events (food and water days)   Create tangible keepsakes (mascots/cookbooks)    
      Public service announcements (e. g. sporting events)    

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Participants brainstormed together on ways to promote the IYPH. © FAO

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