Ever since humans have relied on planted crops as the main source of food, plant diseases, insects, rodents, weeds and other pest organisms have been a constant threat to food supply. The biblical locust plagues, the potato blight epidemic that killed millions of people in Ireland in the 1850s, and the complex of pests that have attacked rice crops throughout Asia for thousands of years are just some examples of the devastation that pests can cause. More recently, while estimates of potential global losses due to insect and vertebrate pests, diseases and weeds varies from crop to crop, it has been estimated that these pests possibly cause up to 40% of the world’s production of food by reducing crop yield and causing losses in storage.
The mission of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) is to promote and support an integrated, scientific approach to plant protection. Embracing a wide range of research approaches, technologies and practices, IAPPS aims to encourage the development and implementation of plant protection practices that provide farmers with ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable means of preventing and controlling pests, obtaining an economically profitable yield and, at the same time, assuring the resilience and long term viability of crop production and protection systems. A fundamentally important starting point for plant protection is the ability to anticipate the emergence and spread of noxious organisms and to prevent their introduction and spread before they become agricultural pests in specific crops and regions. In this regard, international biosecurity measures and rapid and efficient sharing of information across continents and countries becomes of paramount importance for preventing new invasions.