2020 diary from the Directorate General of Forests and Forest Environment about “2020, International Year of Plant Health”

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year 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. With this opportunity the Directorate General of Forests and Forest Environment of the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy created a wall diary with photographs taken by Dr. Dimitrios Avtzis from the Forest Research Institute.

Plant health is increasingly under threat. Climate change and other human activities, are altering ecosystems, reducing biodiversity and creating new niches 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.

Prevention is crucial in order to tackle the impacts of plant pests and diseases and everybody has a role in it:

  • Travelers need to avoid taking plants and plant products with them across borders.
  • People in the transportation industries need to make sure that ships, airplanes, trucks and trains don’t carry plant pests and diseases into new areas.
  • Governments need to increase their support to national and regional plant protection organizations that are the first line of defense.

The national competent authority for plant health is the Directorate of Plant Production Protection. The competent authority for the forest sector is the Directorate of Forest Protection of the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

Further reading:

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) http://www.fao.org/plant-health-2020/home/en/

European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) http://www.eppo.int