May 12- International Day of Plant Health

2 Min ⏰  

Healthy plants can help to end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.

Why an International Day of Plant Health? 

The United Nations designated 12 May the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development. The Day is a key legacy of the International Year of Plant Health 2020

Both our health and the health of our planet depend on plants. Plants makeup 80% of the food we eat and 98% of the oxygen we breathe and yet they are under threat.  Up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases every year. This is affecting both food security and agriculture, the main source of income for vulnerable rural communities.  

Climate change and human activities are altering ecosystems and damaging biodiversity while creating new niches for pests to thrive. International travel and trade, which has tripled in volume in the last decade, is also spreading pests and diseases. We need to protect plants both for people and the planet, and all of us have a role to play. 

Healthy plants constitute the foundation for all life on Earth, as well as ecosystem functions, food security, and nutrition. Plant health is key to the sustainable development of agriculture required to feed a growing global population by 2050.

As FAO has welcomed a UN decision to establish an annual International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) on 12 May, brush up your knowledge on the topic through a selection of FAO titles highlighting the importance of plant health, and get ready to celebrate!

Raising the Awareness of the Next Generation

Due to the importance of educating children about the need to protect the environment and plants,  UN agencies, like FAO and some NGOs, have prepared and published booklets on these topics for children. It is suitable for governments and NGOs to translate these booklets into the local language and make them available to families and children. Here are some examples of these products: 

Activity book – Healthy plants, healthy planet

Year of publication: 2020

Place of publication: Rome, Italy

Pages: #24 p.

ISBN: 978-92-5-132761-6

Author: FAO

Publisher: FAO

Agrovoc: plant health; plant protection; awareness-raising; children; educational resources

Abstract: This activity book has been designed, written, and illustrated to bring children and young people closer to the world of plant protection; the science that deals with plant health. Although addressed to an age group between eight and twelve years, this book can also be useful for older kids and educators. It can be considered the first, simple plant protection manual, designed on the occasion of the International Year of Plant Health 2020.

Related Activity Books:

Your Guide to FAO

Working for ZeroHunger

Change the Future of Migration 

Climate is Changing 

Eating healthy matters 

Food heroes