International Year of Plant Health 2020
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The UN describes IYPH as “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.”
One of the UN's key messages for IYPH is “invest in plant health capacity development, research and outreach”.
This is where UK Research and Innovation comes in. UKRI are working to ensure the best possible environment for plant health research and innovation to flourish.
We are a key player in tackling plant health challenges because we are working to find solutions to plant health issues to increase yields, reduce environmental impact and prevent outbreaks, as well as solving public health issues.
We have access to knowledge and stories that are key to the success of IYPH because the UK plant health research and innovation community has achieved amazing things so far for the UK and the world.
On this page, you will find examples of how UK Research and Innovation contributes to plant health.
To learn about how you can get involved in International Year of Plant Health in the UK, visit www.yearofplanthealth.co.uk
Plant health: Chris Packham
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is a wildlife expert, photographer and author with a passionate concern for conservation and the environment.
Plant health: Pippa Greenwood
Pippa Greenwood, botanist, author and broadcaster, is a renowned and respected authority on plants and the pathogens which threaten their survival.
Plant health: Sir William Worsley
Sir William Worsley is Chair of the Forestry Commission. Before stepping down in February, he was the UK’s first Tree Champion. His role involved working with stakeholders and local authorities to promote the benefits of trees and help grow the country’s woodland cover.
From field to phone: three ways plant health researchers are helping increase essential food production
Preventing food loss is vital. It’s predicted that 60% more food will be needed worldwide by 2050 to feed the increasing global population, and in the UK, 51% of food wasted is lost before it even reaches consumers.
Four ways tech is helping plant health
It might not be in the news as much as coronavirus, but plant health has the potential to have a much greater impact on people’s lives than most people realise. Throughout history humans have battled with plant diseases and pests to ensure that desirable plants were kept healthy and productive.
How better plant health can help protect the crops we need for global food production
Healthy plants have a global impact. They increase crop yields and help food production and economies, and so scientific research and expertise must ensure plants not only have a fighting chance to be healthy but to survive.
How advancements in plant science are helping to mitigate the impact of climate change
Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on public health and the economy, an unexpected side effect has been the positive impact that worldwide lockdown is having on the environment.
From Dutch elm disease to ash dieback, it seems that we’ve heard a lot about tree epidemics and infestations in recent years.
Smelly plants could be natural pest control
Bombarding whiteflies with smells from different plants may stop them damaging crops, according to research from NERC-funded scientists.
International collaboration to combat infectious plant disease
A joint project with the US, Israel and China will examine the interaction between humans, livestock, crops, wild animals and plants that can lead to diseases spreading.
How new research is helping fight the bacterial diseases threatening our food production and tree health
The story about the health of our crops and plants is a complex one. Bacterial diseases are a major threat to our food supply and in the UK, such diseases are endangering the security of essential food crops such as potatoes, carrots and soft fruits.