Most nations are failing to protect nature in Covid recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy, however, according to a report published in the journal One Earth, most nations are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments. 

Last week at the United Nations, more than 60 heads of state spoke at a virtual summit and pledged their support to tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis.

However, according to the researchers at Rutgers University, New Jersey, when you look at what countries are actually doing, very few governments have put their money where their mouth is.

Pamela McElwee, professor at Rutgers University and lead author of the study said: ‘We still see huge amounts of financial support for harmful practices, such as subsidising overfishing or fossil fuel production or building infrastructure that will harm ecological integrity.

‘Only a small number of countries are addressing the biodiversity crisis in the serious manner it deserves.’

Indeed, the authors of the report have highlighted that many countries including the United States, Brazil and Australia have actually back-tracked on existing laws and regulations that are in place to protect nature.

Only the European Union and member countries are making substantial financial investments in biodiversity for post-covid planning. Other nations, including New Zealand, India and Pakistan, are proposing investments in nature-based jobs like ecological restoration, but only at a modest level.

According to the report, unless urgent action is taken, around 1 million species face extinction, many within decades.

Therefore governments should be taking action in their stimulus and recovery plans to prioritise nature and provide immediate employment benefits that will lead to longer-term transformations to the global economy.

Pamela McElwee added: ‘Governments are falling short of their stated promises and they need to do more – immediately.

‘We will continue to monitor proposed recovery packages, stimulus measures and financial pledges for how they address the biodiversity crises going forward, particularly in light of the mega-summit on biodiversity to be held in China next May.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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