2020 The Year of Plant Health

15 Jan 2020

As a joyful celebration of nature, the United Nations (UN) declared 2020 as the year of plant health. “The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today launched the United Nations’ International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) for 2020, which aims to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.”

We can all participate in this campaign. We can support systems that promote plant health, and help raise awareness of the important role plants play in our survival.


Plants clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and providing us with oxygen. Biodiversity of plants provide food for every living organism: from microorganism, insects and birds, to humans. Plants keep us healthy at the cellular level through a variety of micronutrients and antioxidants; a vital task as we are increasingly exposed to more pollutants.

By safeguarding plant health and biodiversity we protect our future and the future of the ecosystems that support us.

A healthy and diverse ecosystem promotes the health of pollinators vital to food production. It also helps preserve cultural food traditions based on healthy plant systems that feed our farms, animals, and ourselves. Plant biodiversity ensures food for all communities. Because allows them autonomy over their food sovereignty, and respects their food values and heritage. Slow Food has pioneer this work through the Ark of Taste.

We can promote plant health by supporting regenerative agriculture systems.

Food production systems free of toxic chemicals that protect water sources, soil health, and air quality, and promote plant biodiversity and a clean environment. Plant health and biodiversity also enable the survival of ecosystems we need to reduce the impact of climate change.

Eating a diverse range of plant promotes the production of a wider ecological biodiversity.


Photo credit Claudia del Bianco/ Paolo Gai

It supports the efforts of farmers who grow seasonal crops, cover crops, and plants that thrive in local ecosystems.

The UN also advises us to, “Adopt environmentally friendly pest-management practices, including those based on biological approaches that do not kill pollinators, and beneficial insects and organisms.” Hundreds of cities around the US, for example, have banned the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides on public areas, like parks and schools. An initiative we must spread to the production of our food.

 width=In 2020, Slow Food will continue to promote the message of plant biodiversity, healthy ecosystems, and safe food systems. Join us in our efforts to continue to champion a good, clean, fair system that supports small farmers who care for the environment.

#planthealth #biodiversity #slowfood #slowfoodbiodiversity

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