Phytosanitary Awareness Week 2020
Day 1, Monday, 9 November 2020, Global Plenary – Inception
Every year, the Germplasm Health Units (GHUs) of CGIAR centers come together to organize “Phytosanitary Awareness Week”. This year, the International Phytosanitary Awareness Week 2020 event was themed “Phytosanitary Safety for Prevention of Transboundary Spread of Pests and Pathogens” and is being held from 9 to 13 November 2020 to highlight the International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH 2020). As part of this event, they organized a global webinar series.
Day 1 kicked off with a global plenary session, with an introduction and opening remarks by the facilitator, Dr Lava Kumar, Head of IITA Germplasm Health and Virology Unit and coordinator of the Germplasm Health component of the CGIAR Genebank Platform. He summarized the rationale of GHU mission, the role it plays in ensuring safe international transfer of germplasm, and how GHUs have evolved as a strong global network under the CGIAR Genebank Platform. He compared the GHU mission to navigating germplasm through a minefield of dangerous pests and pathogens, implying the risks involved in international transfers. He introduced three keynote topics of the opening Webinar: (1) on International Year of Plant Health (IYPH); (2) FAO-CGIAR international collaboration in tackling transboundary pests; and (3) the role of CGIAR Germplasm Health component of the Genebank Platform in preventing the transboundary spread of pests and pathogens, and safe international transfers of germplasm for food and agricultural R4D initiatives around the world.