Protecting plant health throughout the summer with an eye on the future
June 28, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario
As summer begins, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) would like to remind Canadians what they can do to protect plant health. Preventing introduction and spread of invasive insects, plants, molluscs and diseases is important to maintaining Canada's precious plant resources.
Invasive plant pests are most active in Canada during the summer months. The CFIA encourages Canadians to join the plant health movement and go outdoors this summer to check the trees, parks and gardens in your community proactively. Check vehicles, equipment or other things you have stored outside, too, especially before heading out across the country or across the border so that you don't bring uninvited "guests", such as European gypsy moth, weed seeds and soil with you. Become familiar with invasive pests in your area and report sightings that may be new, like the spotted lanternfly. Some pests, like the emerald ash borer, might hitch a ride if you transport firewood. When heading camping or on a trip to the cottage this summer, be sure to buy or gather your firewood where you'll burn it.
Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding Canada's forests, agriculture and environment. The CFIA's plant health hero activity books are a great way to have fun and help teach kids about how plants are the basis for all living things.
A full list of invasive pests that the CFIA is monitoring is available online. The CFIA's invasive pest cards and pest facts sheets provide more information on what to look for and what to report. Report insects or unusual tree damage using the CFIA's website or social media channels or via apps like iNaturalist and EDDmaps.
Plants lay the foundation for life. Celebrating the International Year of Plant Health provided an extraordinary opportunity for government departments, non-profits and other organizations to highlight the importance of plant protection during the past 18 months. By working together to protect plant health, we lay the foundation for a better future.
"Helping prevent the spread of invasive pests in Canada is something we can all do. Spread the word about plant protection so that together we can protect our forests, agriculture and food security. While we may be saying goodbye to the International Year of Plant Health, we say hello to a renewed appreciation for our green spaces, working together and protecting our plant resources."
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Protecting plants is essential to maintaining our health, environment and economy. Moving beyond the International Year of Plant Health, each of us can do our part to prevent the spread of invasive alien species, including those affecting plant health. By taking action now to address invasive pests, we can support plant health and conserve biodiversity across Canada."
- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The International Year of Plant Health focused world attention on how protecting plant health is essential in helping to end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development. It was extended to July 1, 2021, due to the worldwide pandemic.
Canadians can help protect our plants by:
- becoming a plant health hero
- reporting any unusual plants or insects to the CFIA online or on social media @InspectionCan
- burning only local or heat-treated firewood to reduce the spread of plant pests like emerald ash borer that hide in firewood
- checking campers, equipment and items stored outside to remove insects and egg masses
- engaging kids in becoming plant health heroes through fun and interactive youth activity booklets
- being careful about where plants and seeds are sourced and, if buying online, choosing reputable domestic suppliers, or importing them legally to avoid exotic pests and diseases
Canada, the United States and Mexico work within the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) to protect plant health across North America.
The CFIA is the National Plant Protection Organization for Canada and is responsible for setting and implementing plant-health regulations, policies and programs, that are consistent with international standards and trade rules.
- Raising the bar for plant health awareness in Canada and around the world
- Plant health knows no borders: North America shines bright green for International Year of Plant Health (2021)
- Canada encourages everyone to get involved in Tree Check Month (August 2020)
- The International Year of Plant Health 2020
- Don't move firewood – Prevent the spread of pests
- Plant pests and invasive species
- Plant pest cards and fact sheets
Director of Communications
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
YouTube: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
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