Roots of change: Higgins launches Year of Plant Health
President Michael D Higgins planted a tree in Dublin's Phoenix Park to commemorate Ireland's launch of the International Year of Plant Health 2020.
Mr Higgins highlighted the importance of plant health in the UN-agreed Sustainable Development Goals by planting a native sessile oak tree at Ashtown Castle.
"Healthy plants are a crucial part, not only of the natural environment, but also of human health and well-being, as plants provide oxygen and most of the food consumed by people," he said.
Speaking about climate change, he said: "Urgent action and reform of international policies is now a matter of survival itself."
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Pictured with the president at the event were Molly Keenan (11), with her sister Rhona (7), both from Scoil Mhuire Na Trócaire in Ardee, Co Louth.
Andrew Doyle, Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, also attended the tree-planting.