Plant health is essential to both human and animal health, as well as our environment and our economy. Canada is committed to preventing the introduction and spread of plant pests through strong partnerships with neighbouring countries and the active participation of Canadians.
Canada, the United States and Mexico are lighting up iconic monuments and landmarks in the colour green for the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The “Plant Health Knows No Borders” illumination initiative by the North American Plant Protection Organization is especially poignant in April, Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.
Plants make up 80 percent of the food we eat and produce 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe. Protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, defend the environment and boost economic development!
The following North American landmarks will shine green for the IYPH:
- The Canadian and American sides of Niagara Falls
- Canadian Museum of Nature
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jamie L. Whitten headquarters building on the Washington National Mall
- Government Buildings in Mexico City
- Mexico Independence Monument
- Monument to Cuauhtémoc, last Aztec Emperor
- Mexican’s Revolution Monument
Across North America, everyone is invited to join the movement on the evenings of April 19 and 20, 2021, through social media and the Niagara Falls webcam. Together, we can raise awareness of the importance of healthy plants by amplifying images and content on our social media.
With a growing world population and increasing global trade, plant health is more important than ever for a steady food supply, a healthy environment and a strong economy in Canada and around the world.
“Plant health knows no borders. Invasive insects and plant diseases easily cross international borders. That’s why it’s important to work together with our neighbours to protect our precious resources. As a leader in plant protection, Canada enthusiastically supports the International Year of Plant Health, we’re excited to see that our collaboration with the United States and Mexico is helping raise awareness of plant health. I encourage all Canadians to be vigilant about plant protection and help spread the word through social media.”
—The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“These illuminations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States demonstrate powerful solidarity in plant protection that stretches across North America. This event will raise public awareness about the need to protect our vulnerable plant resources against damaging invasive pests. These pests can devastate crops, throw ecosystems out of balance, and jeopardize the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers. We encourage people to visit HungryPests.com to learn how they can make a difference by preventing the unintentional spread of invasive pests.”
—Dr. Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Quarantine
“It is important for Mexico’s society to be aware that plant health drives sustainable agriculture, fosters economic and commercial development, and creates responsible practices which help reduce pest spread and encourage scientific innovation. These are essential for the development of Mexico’s fields as they contribute to human wellbeing and to build wealth and social peace.”
—Mr. Francisco Ramírez y Ramírez, Mexico’s Plant Health General Director
- Canada, the United States and Mexico have been collaborating to promote the International Year of Plant Health and to protect plant health across North America.
- Niagara Falls will be illuminated on April 19 and 20, 2021, for 15 minutes at the top of every hour between 7 pm and 9 pm.
- Canadians can help protect our plants by:
- reporting any unusual plants or insects to the CFIA online or on social media @InspectionCan
- burning only local or heat-treated firewood to reduce the spread of the plant pests like the emerald ash borer that hide in firewood
- engaging kids in becoming plant health heroes through fun and interactive youth activity booklets
- being careful about where plants and seeds are sourced and, if buying online, choosing reputable domestic suppliers, or importing them legally to avoid exotic pests and diseases
- getting involved with the #PlantHealth and #IYPH conversations on social media to raise awareness about plant protection
- visiting the Canada-IYPH website to learn more
- The International Year of Plant Health focuses world attention on how protecting plant health is essential in helping to end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development. It was extended to June 30, 2021, due to COVID-19.
- NAPPO was created in 1976 to provide a forum for public and private sectors in Canada, the United States and Mexico to collaborate in protecting plant resources and the environment while facilitating safe trade.
- The Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the National Plant Protection Organization for Canada and is responsible for setting and implementing plant-health policies and programs, as well as international standards and rules for trade.
- The Niagara Falls illumination schedule is available on the Falls Illumination website.
- Canada’s IYPH website
- NAPPO’s IYPH website
- United Nations news release for International Year of Plant Health
- International Year of Plant Health (International Plant Protection Convention site)
SOURCE Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)