Plant Health Summit aims to enhance food security and protect human health |

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Plant pests and diseases cause up to 40% food crop lossesaccording to FAO estimates.

And the damage they cause to agriculture and food production exacerbates world hunger and threatens rural livelihoods.

In her opening address to the 16th Session of what is officially known as the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol highlighted “crucial opportunities ahead” to enhance profile of phytosanitary issues.

The Commission is the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), an intergovernmental treaty signed by more than 180 countries to coordinate the prevention and control of plant pests.

Celebrate Plants

The senior official pointed out that the first celebration of International Plant Health Day will take place on May 12 and that the first International Plant Health Conference will be hosted by the UK in September.

Ms. Bechdol thanked Finland for its leadership in implementing the International Year of Plant Health, which ended in July, and Zambia for championing the declaration of the annual International Day, that the General Assembly decided last week.

Furthermore, she said that over the past year, increased cooperation with the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding “which will trigger the development of advocacy materials and training courses. e-learning for use by phytosanitary practitioners worldwide”. .”

Sanitary and commercial standards

With a total of 184 parties to the IPPC, the Commission is the only global or United Nations entity mandated to set standards for the protection of plants and their products across borders while facilitating safe and efficient conditions for trade. plants all over the world.

The IPPC Secretariat is also establishing a global pest outbreak alert and response system so that states can prepare for and respond to emerging pests within their territory.

And the Secretariat is currently working on adopting IPPC standards to help countries design best practices for plant health and trade safety.

The current challenges we face today leave us with no choice but to unite our efforts and show full commitment towards mitigating the effects of risks by adopting IPPC standards and applying them at the national and regional levels,” said CMP President Lucien Kouame Konan.

Without crop production, there will be no food for humans or food for animals – IPPC Secretary

Positive ripple effects

The safe trade of healthy plants and their products across borders forms the basis of a strong food value chain and is a key element in the fight against world hunger.

“Without crop production, there will be no food for humans or food for animals,” said IPPC Secretary Oussama El-Lissy.

He highlighted the Convention’s “essential role” in providing knowledge and policies to safely move “billions of plants and plant products across borders”, adding that this also supports the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs).

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