Biotech Updates

Study Reveals Most Countries Fail to Protect Nature in COVID-19 Recovery Plans

October 14, 2020

A Rutgers University-led research reveals that most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms and investments as the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses.

The research team led by Pamela McElwee, associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick was composed of economists, anthropologists, and environmental scientists at many institutions on three continents. It explores the changes in global economic systems – including incentives, regulations, fiscal policy, and employment programs – that are necessary to shift away from activities that damage biodiversity and move toward those supporting ecosystem resilience.

The paper spells out the actions that governments should be taking to prioritize nature, provide immediate employment benefits, and lead to longer-term transformations in the global economy. While many scientists and politicians promote COVID-19 recovery that is low-carbon, biodiversity and ecosystems in economic plans received much less attention as discussions largely focused on wildlife markets as a potential source of novel viruses. While they may be important, the authors say they do not address the root causes of ecological disruptions.

"Governments are falling short of their stated promises and they need to do more – immediately," McElwee said.

For more details, read the article in Rutgers Today.

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