Listen and look in each landscape
The diversity of living organisms depends on having a wide variety of different types of habitats that can provide the space and resources that specific species need to survive. Human disturbance can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce habitat suitability for many species, and restrict the movement of organisms across ecosystems and landscapes.
We know that ‘green corridors’ of native vegetation can be very important in providing shelter, food and protection, and connecting isolated populations. But if we are not careful, green corridors could also facilitate the introduction and spread of invasive pests and diseases. For example, human transport networks are highly inter-connected resulting in the movement of pest problems in one place to another place, when people or products are moved.
Activity 29 - From plate to paddock
Fruit and vegetables are fun and nutritious to grow at home, but they can also be host to numerous pest and diseases. And these pests don’t stay put! Urban areas often overlap with horticultural areas, making it is easier for pests to infest commercial orchards and ruin fruit and vegetable crops, costing us more in the pocket later on to grow.
- Inform a neighbour that transporting plants and plant products may spread plant pests and diseases into horticultural areas – sometimes with devastating results.
- Locate a local fruit and vegetable stand or market garden and ask the farmer if you can help monitor their paddock or examine their products for pests.
- Make a report of the fruit or vegetable pests you find (or don’t find) and fill in your passport.
Activity 30 – The grass IS greener
Private sector businesses have a key role in plant health as they can contribute to the development of global plant health standards and help implement them. To make trading and transporting plants and plant products safer businesses are meant to comply with international plant health standards and legislation.
- Ask a local business if they inform clients that transporting plants and plant products may spread plant pests and diseases – sometimes with devastating results. Are they aware of any examples which might impact their business?
- Ask a local business if they are undertaking innovative plant-health practices (e.g. R&D) and if they are using any new technologies to facilitate market access in line with international standards? Show them how to use the free reporting tool.
- Make an absence report based on what pest might be found hiding in the local businesses products. Fill in your passport