Get involved in 2020’s International Year of Plant Health

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The United Nations has declared 2020 ‘International Year of Plant Health. Led by the global UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the aim  is to highlight the importance of protecting plants and is putting a spotlight on biosecurity.

With plant industries contributing over $30 billion annually, the protection of plant health is not only vital for the environment but the economy, food security and trade.

The Australian International Year of Plant Health 2020 steering committee is looking to have government, industry and communities collaborate and help build a solid foundation for a stronger, more sustainable future for growers.

A large focus has been placed on establishing effective plant protection programs, with the initiative hoping to inspire Australians to recognise their role in minimising the threat of pests and diseases.

There will be an official launch event at Parliament House in Canberrra on Thursday, 6 February, led by Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture and Acting Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith.

John McDonald, National Biosecurity Manager for GIA and members of the national steering committee, will also be in attendance. John will be working to  leverage this international platform to promote the nursery industry’s contribution to the health and wellbeing of Australians.

This year, Greenlife Industry Australia will be hosting its national conference in Perth. The theme of the conference is Healthy Plants, Healthy People which is a nod to International Year of Plant Health and will support the UN’s mission in raising awareness of biosecurity and plant protection issues.

Bringing together individuals, businesses and organisations at the conference, Greenlife Industry Australia is hoping to spark the conversation about how to best mobilise Australian stakeholders and industry bodies to make the protection against the spread of pests and scientific innovation in prevention a priority.

The conference will host discussions on best-practice for increasing tracebility, minimising use of pesticides and damage reduction, all looking to help inform business decisions and influence industry performance.

Whilst Australia is fortunate to be free of many extremely damaging plant pests, the threat always remains making the maintenance of Australia’s biosecurity a team effort, vigiliance is required across the board – from overseas visitors to farmers monitioring crops or city dwellers with gardens or veggie patches.

International Year of the Plant is a great opportunity to inject the theme of plant health into industry and community events and strive to improve the security and sustainability of Australia’s horticulture industry.

To register for the Greenlife Industry Australian Conference, and join the discussion on plant health, following this link: