Emerging from COVID-19, we need to ensure environment is the centre of our revitalization. World Environment Day comes this year to a planet that is preoccupied with the effects of COVID-19, a pandemic that has played with the lives of millions and affected some two-thirds of the people that share this planet.
And as nations emerge from the darkest days of the coronavirus crisis, there is a focus now on looking to the future and making sure that things won’t be like before.
And that’s why decision makers, influencers — all of us — need to ensure that the environment is placed front and centre of our revitalisation efforts.
For the past four months, as much of the world’s population lived under restrictions of lockdown conditions necessitated to fight the pandemic, nature has demonstrated time and time again how us humans adversely impact our environment, how our activities are largely negative and how we have disturbed critical balances in delicate ecosystems.
If anything, one lesson from the pandemic should be a reminder that despite all of our science and technologies, our development and progress, there are forces in nature that still possess the ability to humble us. The anecdotal evidence is there: The majestic Himalayas in clear view with the smog lifted from Delhi; rare turtles hatching eggs on deserted tourist beaches of Thailand; mountain goats roaming a seaside resort in Wales.
And we are being presented with an opportunity to embrace change now. As we renew our economies, let us embrace the environment too. We have a rare opportunity to change things for the better. Our future must be green.