Contributed my Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland
The universal Expo Milano’s theme is ‘Feeding the planet, Energy for Life’. Plant health’s important contribution to food security has already featured prominently in Expo events which Plantwise has participated in such as recent ones hosted by the Swiss Pavilion and the UK Pavilion. This message was reiterated and reinforced in a debate at the EU Pavilion on Climate change and food security: challenges for plant health, plant breeding and genetic resources held on July 14 and organized by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety at the Conference Center. During the morning session on plant health, Mr Craig Fedchock, Coordinator of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), intervened on the “impact of climate change, emerging risks and plant diseases on food security”. The IPPC Coordinator noted that pests are nowadays unfortunately in the news due to the challenges posed to plant health, while more attention should be given to international regulations and good practices to address these challenges. Mr Fedchock noted how pests of plants have negative impacts on food security, environment and trade. Climate change will allow the establishment of pests in areas where they were not present before and according to recent studies, pests can extend their range with climate change. Additionally, it has been demonstrated in the case of the Emerald Ash Borer that pests have direct relations to human health. Find a complete summary of Mr Fedchock’s speech here.