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The United Nations has 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.

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A large number of events – from exhibitions, to cultural performances, contests, panel discussions and conferences – are taking place across the world to mark the International Year of Plant Health 2020.



Commission on
Phytosanitary Measures

29 June – 3 July 2020


International Plant Health Conference

5-8 October 2020

Whether you’re a business, NGO, journalist, media agency, or just a regular person, you can call for action to improve plant health and build a better future. Plan an event or spread the word, and let us know if you need our help.
We can provide you with a range of promotional materials in several languages – a brochure, video, event banner, web or social media graphics.

Plants make up 80% of the food we eat and produce 98% of the oxygen we breathe.

The annual value of trade in agricultural products has grown almost three-fold over the past decade, largely in emerging economies and developing countries, reaching USD 1.7 trillion.

FAO estimates that agricultural production must rise about 60% by 2050 in order to feed a larger and generally richer population.

Plant pests are responsible for losses of up to 40% percent of food crops globally, and for trade losses in agricultural products worth over USD 220 billion each year.

Climate change threatens to reduce not only the quantity of crops, lowering yields, but also the nutritious value. Rising temperatures also mean that more plant pests are appearing earlier and in places where they were never seen before.

Beneficial insects are vital for plant health – for pollination, pest control, soil health, nutrient recycling – and yet, insect abundance has fallen 80% in the last 25-30 years.

One million locusts can eat about one tonne of food a day, and the largest swarms can consume over 100 000 tonnes each day, or enough to feed tens of thousands of people for one year.

Plant Health Communication Guide

Find out more about how you can take part and promote the International Year of Plant Health 2020 by reading our Communications Guide


Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, we are calling for your support to photograph healthy and unhealthy plants. You can win a trip to a plant health event or a photo mission. Winning photos will be showcased online and exhibited at FAO headquarters and at events around the world. Join the contest here


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