Working Group:

Plant Health


Creation of a network in the area related to plant health

The Working Group "Plant Health" will facilitate the creation of a network of networks that will share information and increase capacity to respond to plant health threats in a changing environment. A network, for the purpose of this working group, is defined as institutions or countries that work together either through a formal agreement or terms of reference, on policy development or research in an area related to plant health.

Focus Areas

Plant health is a broad and encompassing term and working group members have agreed to focus on the following four areas of plant health activities:

  • Biovigilance/plant security (e.g. monitoring, forecasting and early warning, etc.).
  • Tools, technologies and best practices (e.g. rapid detection systems, etc.).
  • Data knowledge and information exchange (e.g. data sharing platforms, etc.).
  • Discovery and innovation (e.g. basic research in plant biotic interactions, etc.).

Key Deliverables

Deliverable: Finalize roadmap

Action Items

  • Countries/organizations confirms their participation in the working group through email correspondence prior to the IBF 2nd Plenary Session (May 24, 2019).
  • Seek additional membership in the working group through outreach activities to bilateral partners including the United Kingdom, Turkey and Australia.

Current Status: Completed


Deliverable: Establish governance/rules of the network

Action Items

  • Members conducts an internal mapping exercise of existing plant health networks.
  • Elaborate on the research and policy areas of emphasis.
  • Identify leads and steering groups for the areas of emphasis.
  • Explore funding opportunities to support a workshop of experts.

Current Status: Ongoing


Deliverable: White Paper developed from the workshop of experts (2020).

Action Items

  • Coordinate the identified funding opportunities for a workshop of experts.
  • Seek input from the relevant non-IBF stakeholders including the research community through a workshop of experts to facilitate the creation of a network of networks.
  • Each Member identifies key areas of interest to engage in the network.
  • Identify key questions for the network from basic biological questions up to operational goals.
  • Discuss future coordination with the IBF Microbiome Working Group, the IBF ICT in Precision Food Systems Working Group and the IBF Forest Bioeconomy Working Group.

Current Status: Ongoing



Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

National Research Council of Canada (NRC)


United States:

United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA)

National Science Foundation (NSF)


European Union:

Directorate General Research and Innovation (DG RTD)

Joint Research Centre (JRC)

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)


New Zealand:

Better Border Biosecurity (B3)


South Africa:

Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (TBC)


Research Networks:

Euphresco network for phytosanitary research coordination and funding

European Technology Platform Plants for the Future