22 April 2020
International Year of Plant Health
Plants are one of the major elements determining the life existence on Earth. As a source of oxygen, raw material and food for humans, as well as niche for hiding, reproduction and development of many animal species, plants are essential element of both, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Plant health is under permanent influence of many biotic and abiotic factors, with evident negative trend. Significant negative impact is posed by the natural factors (e.g. plant pathogens and pests, natural disasters), however the plant health is predominantly jeopardized by human influence. Global trade and transport of plants and planting material, including the people travelling worldwide, produced a negative impact on plant health by multiplying the events of global spread and introduction of new plant pests across the globe. Many of newly introduced pests are invasive, colonizing wide areas in short period of time, resulting in severe epidemics with devastating impact on plant health. Furthermore, climate changes significantly influenced the plant health and diversity, via disturbance of natural ecosystems, as well as interference in cropping systems, negatively affecting the food safety and production. It is of particular importance for developing countries and Third World countries which are faced with poverty and hunger.
Plant health protection is a factor of major importance to secure safe future on the planet. In terms of healthy environment and biodiversity preservation, it is of great importance to implement non–invasive ecological methods in plant protection. From the economic and social point of view, plant health control via sustainable agricultural practice will provide necessary food production and contribute to poverty eradication and arising life standard quality, through economy and market development at local and regional scales.
Expert collaboration: Dr Milana Mitrović, Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Plant Protection and Environment.
Artistic realization of the issue: MA Nadežda Skočajić, academic graphic artist.