UN International Year 2020
The United Nations (UN) dedicates an entire calendar year to focus on topics or themes. Many countries actively participate in promoting these years.
The UN has launched 2020 to raise global awareness about plant health and the impact of healthy plants and forests on food security, poverty, ecosystem functions, and sustainability for achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and sharing best practices on how to keep plants healthy while protecting the environment.
Plants make up 80 percent of the food we eat and produce 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe. Yet, they are under constant and increasing threat from pests and diseases.
Every year, up to 40 percent of global food crops are lost to plant pests and diseases. This leads to annual agricultural trade losses of over $220 billion, leaves millions of people facing hunger, and severely damages agriculture – the primary income source for poor rural communities.
Therefore, policies and actions to promote plant health are fundamental for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
Climate change and human activities are altering ecosystems, reducing biodiversity and creating conditions where pests can thrive. At the same time, international travel and trade has tripled in volume in the last decade and can quickly spread pests and diseases around the world causing great damage to native plants and the environment.
“let us dedicate the necessary resources and increase our commitment to plant health. Let us act for people and planet” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
FAO and its International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) will lead activities to make the Year a success as well as promote plant health beyond 2020.
The Year will emphasize prevention and protection, and the role everyone can play to ensure and promote plant health.