International Year of Plant Health 2020

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations have designated 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). IYPH is a tremendous opportunity to raise the profile of plant health on the global stage, highlighting the importance of healthy plants to a wide audience. The aim of IYPH is to raise awareness of how protecting plant health provides a multitude of benefits to us as humans and to our environment, biodiversity and economy. For this reason, the Scottish Government have included IYPH amongst our Programme for Government commitments.

Throughout 2020 Scottish Government will collaborate with the Plant Health Centre, other stakeholders and the UK Plant Heath Authorities  to:

  • Promote the benefits of healthy plants to Scotland and beyond
  • Increase awareness of the threat from plant pests and diseases from trade and travel globalisation.
  • Spread the biosecurity message, making people aware what good biosecurity looks like and what they can do to practice it.
  • Raise awareness of the activities that Scottish stakeholders do to protect Scotland’s plants.

In Scotland, we are planning a series of events and activities to raise the profile of plant health and biosecurity during IYPH.

IYPH activities

Due to the current public health situation a number of our events have been cancelled or postponed. If you would like further information please contact  

Parliamentary reception
Ms Gillian Martin will host our IYPH reception at the Parliament. The Minister, Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland and David Knott from RBGE will speak at this event. We are inviting a range of stakeholders from the forestry, agriculture, horticulture and natural environment sectors.

Ministerial round tables
Round tables will be held with industry to allow stakeholders to raise key issues with the Minister and Scottish Government Officials.

Scotland’s Plant Health Conference
Thursday 12th March, Novotel Edinburgh Park
A conference for stakeholders from across the horticulture, forestry, agriculture and natural environment sectors. It is a great opportunity for organisations and individuals to share and discuss their plant health issues and catch up on the latest policies relevant to Scotland.

Exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
A IYPH/biosecurity exhibition & associated leaflets is on display in the RBGE John Hope Gateway. This space attracts almost 1 million visitors a year.
We will also have a smaller touring version of this display which will visit the regional gardens.

Bug hunts
Look out for our children’s trail activity at various sites across Scotland to raise awareness of plant pests & encourage a new generation of bug hunters.

IYPH Science Festival activities
We have developed a range of plant health themed activities and plan to take them to several science festivals across Scotland during 2020.

Gardening Scotland Front Garden and biosecurity stall
29th- 31st May
We are working with SRUC Garden Design students to develop a plant health/ biosecurity themed front garden for the horticulture show Gardening Scotland.
This garden is in addition to the regular Scottish Government/SASA stall which will be bigger than we’ve had in previous years & include some craft activities for children.

Royal Highland Show
18-21st June
In collaboration with our stakeholders we intend to use the RHS to raise the profile of plant health in IYHP.

Dundee Flower and Food Festival
4th- 6th September
After the success of our stall at this event last year we will attend again with a plant health/biosecurity themed stall with our IYPH themed display.

Plus more still to come!  We will add further details of our events to this website in due course, or why not follow @plantchiefscot on Twitter to hear more about our IYPH plans.