Closing of the International Year of Plant Health and situation of Beastie the Bug
Beastie the Bug was created as a communication campaign initiated by the EPPO Secretariat during the International Year of Plant Health 2020 (EPPO RS 2020/001) based on a mascot symbolising an invasive pest. Numerous specimens of this mascot were distributed across the EPPO region and participants were invited to post a picture of themselves with Beastie on the dedicated platform with a short personal message related to plant health before passing it to someone else. The International Year of Plant Health was extended until 1 July 2021 due to the postponement of some key initiatives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result Beastie carried on travelling up to 1 July 2021. Despite travelling restrictions associated with COVID-19, Beastie the Bug visited 40 countries and travelled more than 420 000 km across the globe. About 700 geolocalized pictures were posted on the dedicated website with an associated story (https://beastiebug.eppo.int/pictures) and many more on various social media sources of the participants. The Twitter account (@bug_beastie) reached 1 414 followers and posted more than 1 500 tweets raising awareness on a number of pests, research projects, official activities of NPPOs, etc. Short videos assembling pictures of the campaign are also available on EPPO YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrewrfHpP0FuJT1TO9u7WjQ
The EPPO Secretariat warmly thanks all the participants in this campaign. The specimens that travelled the most were the bugs initially sent to the NPPOs of Canada, the United Kingdom and Poland!
EPPO Secretariat (2021-07). https://beastiebug.eppo.int/