COVID-19 and the Environment
The novel Coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, has forced the world to a grinding halt. The pandemic has caused more than 3.5 million confirmed cases to date. It has swept through countries and continents, and caused massive human suffering, shaken financial markets and upended societies. We feel for the ones who have had to battle the virus, for those who have lost the people they know and care to the virus, and we fear for ourselves and our loved ones. However, while the spread of the current crisis is unprecedented, COVID-19 follows a number of diseases that have emerged in recent decades, such as Ebola, AIDS, SARS, avian influenza and swine flu. All originating from animals, there is increasing evidence that humanity’s overexploitation of nature is one of the factors behind the spread of new diseases. While it is crucial that we work to protect human lives and well-being in response to COVID-19; the current situation underlines the need for urgent action to rebalance our relationship with nature.
Given the close link between the environment and human health, livelihoods, water and food security, it has never been more urgent that environmental protection, conservation and sustainable management is mainstreamed at all levels. WWF-Malaysia calls for urgent actions to conserve our forests and steer agricultural practices towards greater sustainability, throughout its supply-chain, where all parties from Governments, companies, local communities and consumers take responsibility and upping the ante in our efforts to do so.