International Day of Plant Health
In this week’s Thursday Reflection, pupils learned about the importance of plants as part of the International Day of Plant Health on Friday 12 May.
Pupils were led in a discussion about why we need plants, how we can look after them, and what we can do to create an environment in which more healthy plants can flourish. According to the UN,
Plants are life – we depend on them for 80 percent of the food we eat and 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe. But international travel and trade has been associated with the introduction and spread of plant pests. Invasive pest species are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and threaten the delicate web of life that sustains our planet. Pests and diseases have also been associated with rising temperatures which create new niches for pests to populate and spread. In response, the use of pesticides could increase, which harms pollinators, natural pest enemies and organisms crucial for a healthy environment. Protecting plant health is essential by promoting environmentally friendly practices such as integrated pest management. International standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPMs) in trade also help prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests across borders. (cf. FAOUN 2023, International Day of Plant Health available at: https://www.fao.org/plant-health-day/en)
Pupils considered this and how best we can respond as a society.
Dr Paul Bryant
School Lay Chaplain & Head of Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Co-ordinator of SMSC