The Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) of the United Nations has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), and it’s looking for relevant human-interest stories.

Calling it a once in a lifetime opportunity to “raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development” the FAO is asking for personal stories that reflect just that. Submissions will be used in a variety of ways to inspire people to take action with what they do on a day-to-day basis, to calling on decision makers to allocate more resources to plant health institutions.

According to the FAO: Plant health “is usually considered the discipline that uses a range of measures to control and prevent pests, weeds and disease causing organisms to spread into new areas, especially through human interaction such as international trade.”

The FAO is interested in stories that include:

  • how someone (farmer, public or private sector employee, student, etc.) has contributed to plant health;
  • the damage caused by plant pests and diseases. This will help people understand the gravity of the problem. They can also show what actions can be taken to address these problems; or
  • how plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, or boost economic development.

The rubric also says your plant health story doesn’t have to be about success, as many people learn from trials and errors. If using an unsuccessful story, the FAO asks to also provide a possible solution.

Stories must be submitted by February 15, 2020.

For the full rubric, click here.

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