Questions and Answers: A Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada
What is the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada?
The Plant and Animal Health Strategy seeks to bring together all those who play a role in safeguarding plant and animal health to collectively address evolving risks to our plant and animal resources.
Protecting Canada's plant and animal resources depends on the ability of government, industry, academia and others to anticipate and prepare for future challenges and opportunities facing Canada. With increasingly complex and continuously changing risks, a strategic approach is needed so that Canada can continue to safeguard plant and animal health. By working together, we can emphasize prevention instead of being reactive.
The Strategy sets the direction for:
- integrating approaches in safeguarding plant and animal health
- building upon and coordinating partner efforts to maximize synergies while minimizing overlaps and gaps
- identifying priorities and activities for action
- continuously improving partner efforts in plant and animal health and evolving in step with changing risks, needs and capacities of partners
How was the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada developed?
The Plant and Animal Health Strategy was co-created by federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry, academia and others who play a role in plant and animal health and endorsed by FPT ministers of agriculture in July 2017.
The origin of the strategy was a request from FPT ministers of agriculture in July 2014 for a comprehensive and collaborative approach to emergency management. In July 2016, the ministers endorsed the Emergency Management Framework for Agriculture in Canada and identified the need to develop a national plant and animal health strategy. The ideas and feedback received during the consultation on the Emergency Management Framework also contributed to the development of the strategy.
How will the strategy be implemented?
The strategy presents an expansive list of potential activities categorized according to four areas for action:
- coordination through partnerships
- a system founded on prevention
- collecting, analyzing and sharing information
- enabling desired behaviours
As a first critical step for implementing the strategy, separate coordinating councils for plant and animal health have been established to provide leadership in prioritizing and planning the potential activities as outlined in the strategy.
What is the Canadian Plant Health Council?
The Canadian Plant Health Council will coordinate implementation of the plant health aspects of the strategy, harmonizing prevention-based approaches and activities to safeguard Canada's plant resource base that contributes significantly to Canada's economic growth.
The Council includes representatives from federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry and academia that play a role in plant health in Canada across agriculture and forestry.
What will the Canadian Plant Health Council do?
The Council will be responsible for prioritizing and delivering plant health-related activities under the strategy; facilitating cooperation across governments, industry, academia and other partners; and adjusting the strategy to reflect emerging needs.
The first responsibility of the Council will be to develop a focused two-year work plan that will outline key priorities and timelines for delivery.
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