The Global Environment Facility’s new report published on May 16th, 2020 says “The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to confront how environmental degradation bringing wildlife and people too close together endangers economies and societies alike.”
“The coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered most of the world in 2020 has its roots in the environmental degradation that the Global Environment Facility and its partners are working to stop. It is increasingly clear that to manage this crisis and avert future ones, we need to understand the root cause of zoonotic diseases – namely, a collision between human systems and natural systems.”
“Recognizing the urgency of this moment, and the high stakes for governments and businesses who are starting to think through economic recovery plans, the GEF Secretariat has outlined a set of steps for the immediate, medium, and longer term to help address the present situation and reduce the probability of new environmental crises emerging in the foreseeable future. The response spans measures to address wildlife trading, deforestation, urban sprawl, and other pressures on ecosystems that are bringing wild animals and humans in dangerous proximity.”
“The response also includes efforts to support a green economic recovery consistent with sustainable and nature-based development. These steps focus on the acceleration of needed transformations to economic and social systems to reduce their conflict with nature – building on efforts already underway by the GEF-funded Good Growth Partnershipand the GEF Impact Programs on Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration; Sustainable Cities; and Sustainable Forest Management.”
“The planned steps include:
- Increased focus on efforts to deal with the wildlife trade and consumption challenges.
- Conduct analysis on the future risks linked to emerging infectious diseases along with their root causes, including their connection with deforestation and ecosystem fragmentation.
- Identify risks in projects and programs that may seriously compromise past gains and future outcomes.
- Develop an internal blueprint on how to deploy ongoing and upcoming projects that can help lay the foundation for a green recovery.
- Further promote systems change thinking in the strategies to guide GEF’s upcoming 8th Replenishment cycle.”
Read the Council document for more information.