To promote the importance of plant health, the State Plant Protection Service, as part of the Plant Health Day and the #PlantHealth4Life campaign, visited the Riga Bolderāja pre-school, which has been an active participant in the Eco-Schools programme for several years.

In two pre-school groups, Senior Inspector of State plant protection service's Phytosanitary Supervision Department Jūlija Sebeļeva played and talked with children about the importance of plants in our lives, stressing that plants are important not only to sustain our lives (breathing, food), to produce clothing, household and other items, but also for aesthetics. Children shared their love for planting flowers, some had planted flowers together with their parents in front of their apartment buildings to make happy not only themselves but also other people. The children learned about the actions they can take to take care of plants and were introduced to pests and diseases that are dangerous to plants. The children were told that they can also take care of plants by not importing seeds and plant parts from other countries.

During the event, the children were introduced to the mascot of the International Plant Health Awareness Campaign - the plant quarantine organism Pesty.  

Pesty can be used to demonstrate to children how easily a plant quarantine organism can spread and cause serious damage in our country. But as Pesty is a villain, we talked with the children about natural processes and the principles of kindness and, by saying kind words to Pesty, the children understood that Pesty's job is to make people think about what they are doing wrong with plants and the consequences of their actions. But that in reality, Pesty is kind-hearted, and the children were happy to draw what Pesty is like outside of his working hours and performing his mission”, said Jūlija Sebeļeva.

Pesty is the symbol of the second year of the #PlantHealth4Life campaign of the European Union. The campaign aims to draw attention to the close link between plant health and our daily lives by raising people's awareness of the potential impact of their actions on plant health and the opportunities to protect them. The campaign is taking place in 22 European countries and is being implemented in Latvia by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Commission (EC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).  

Everyone can take part in the campaig!

To maintain plant health, every European's actions are important. Visit the #PlantHealth4Life campaign website and find out how you can protect plant health. You will find resources in all EU languages, including press materials, social media announcements to share on your channels and videos.