SLU news

Healthy harvest in a changing climate

Published: 16 May 2022

As a contribution to towards Stockholm+50 – and to mark the first ever UN International Day of Plant Health (12 May) – SLU together with CGIAR partners recently held a webinar on the theme of smallholder plant health. The event ‘Healthy Harvests in a Changing Climate’ centred on how various nature-based solutions can be harnessed to adapt smallholder agriculture to the growing threats of climate change

Well over 200 hundred registrations were received from participants across a broad range of sectors, including research and academic institutes, national and international NGOs, farming organisations, UN bodies, national development agencies, and meteorological institutes.

Talks and discussions centred on the theme of building resilient plant health systems, and the need for ‘climate-smart’ approaches to integrated pest management – as outlined in the recent report: 'Harnessing nature-based solutions for smallholder plant health in a changing climate'

Scientific talks from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), AICCRA (Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa), University of Hannover, and icipe addressed the increasing risks that smallholders face from pest insects, nematodes, weeds, and diseases under climate change. Particular attention was afforded to nature-based solutions that can help smallholders adapt to these challenges, including biological control, push-pull systems, and the use of novel biopesticides.

Practitioner-focused talks focused on the supports needed for practical implementation – including climate-informed advisory services, improved communication and international cooperation, and policy – and were delivered by speakers from UN FAO Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission, Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Take-home messages

Three main take-home messages emerged as a synthesis from the webinar:

  1. Climate-smart Integrated Pest Management (IPM) holds large promise as a concept, but further elaboration is needed in terms of its science and implementation
  2. Nature-based solutions underpinning sustainable pest control are threatened by climate change, but can still retain the potential to contribute to smallholder adaptation
  3. One Health approaches should increasingly integrate plant health as a means to promote food security and food safety under climate change
Watch the recording from the webinar here

Facts:

Plant health resource package

Jointly with partners, SLU has developed a resource package, a policy brief, a report and a film, to contribute to healthy harvest in a changing climate. You can reach the package here.


Contact

Paul Egan, Associate Professor/ Researcher
Department of Plant Biology
E-mail: paul.egan@slu.se
Telephone: +46 (0) 40-415162

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