All United to End the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone.
As mentioned by the UN Secretary General in his call for solidarity, "We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of
the United Nations — one that is spreading human suffering, infecting
the global economy and upending people’s lives." He also added "We must ensure that lessons are learned and that this crisis provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and for investment in critical 21st century public services and the effective delivery of global public goods.
We have a framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We must keep our promises for people and planet."
For general reliable information on COVID-19, please consult:
United to end the pandemic, get information from additional reliable sources:
COVID-19 & the Environment
Various articles have been published in the past weeks on the environmental causes and the environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page aims at listing relevant information, research, data and/or press releases issued by our partners in Geneva and other institutions around the world.
Other resource pages on COVID-19 and the environment:
Origins of COVID-19 & Prevention
While the origin of the outbreak and its transmission pathway are yet to be asserted, we know diseases passed from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) are on the rise, as the world continues to see unprecedented destruction of wild habitats by human activity. "Nature is sending us a message with the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis" according to the UN’s environment chief, Inger Andersen and other environmental experts.
- UNEP steps up work on zoonotics, protecting environment to reduce pandemic risks. UNEP | 12 May 2020.
- Diseases jumping from animals to humans is not new - it has long been deadly, but we can learn from it. Eric Fevre and Naomi Marks | The Telegraph | 12 May 2020.
- Wildlife trade: Regulated markets involving local communities, ‘essential’ to balance humans and nature. UN News | 11 May 2020.
- What are zoonotic diseases and what can we do about them? Deanna Conners | EarthSky | 7 May 2020.
- There are no winners in the illegal trade in wildlife. Ivonne Higuero (CITES SG) | UNEP | 5 May 2020.
- La prochaine pandémie est prévisible, il est temps de prendre au sérieux la crise écologique. Collectif de 120 scientifiques | Le Temps | 5 May 2020.
- Jane Goodall : « Prenons conscience que la pandémie est liée à notre manque de respect pour le monde naturel ». Jane Goodall | Le Monde | 2 May 2020.
- Perspective on protecting nature in the midst of a pandemic. Thomas Lovejoy (UN Foundation and a & George Mason University) | One Earth | 1 May 2020.
- Stopping Deforestation Can Prevent Pandemics. Scientific American | 1 May 2020.
- Health & Conservation Leaders Issue Joint Call to Shut Down High-Risk Wildlife Markets to Help Curb Future Outbreaks. WWF Int | 29 April 2020.
- A Global Call to Action on COVID-19 and Wildlife Trade. Health & Consevation Leaders | April 2020.
- IPBES Guest Article: COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics. Josef Settele, Sandra Díaz and Eduardo Brondizio and Peter Daszak | IPBES | 27 April 2020.
- To prevent the next pandemic, we must transform our relationship with nature. Gavin Edwards (Global Coordinator, New Deal for Nature & People, WWF International) | Medium | 24 April 2020.
- How nature can protect us from pandemics. UNEP | 24 April 2020.
- For better or for worse: the delicate relationship between people and the wildlife around them. UNEP | 23 April 2020.
- The future beyond COVID-19 requires rebuilding planetary health. Robert Nasi & Tony Simons | Landscape News | 22 April 2020.
- Perché la scomparsa di una foresta tropicale è connessa con la mia salute in Italia? Francesco De Augustinis | CorriereTv | 21 April 2020.
- OPINION: Why I have high hopes for nature this Earth Day. Naoko Ishii (GEF) | Thomson Reuters | 17 April 2020.
- How to prevent the next COVID-19? Conservationists weigh in. Malavika Vyawahare | Mongabay | 17 April 2020.
- COVID-19 pandemic: How nature steps in to refill ‘empty forests’ when animals disappear. John E. Fa, Robert Nasi and Julie Mollins | CIFOR | 17 April 2020.
- Coronavirus: three misconceptions about how animals transmit diseases debunked. Olivier Restif (University of Cambridge) | The Conversation | 16 April 2020.
- Wildlife Trade, Origins of COVID-19, and Preventing Future Pandemics. John Scanlon | 15 Apirl 2020.
Position statement: managing wildlife trade in the context of COVID-19 and future zoonotic pandemics. Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science | University of Oxford | 15 April 2020.
- 'We need to work together and follow the science'. Gustavo Fonseca | GEF | 14 April 2020.
- COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery. Marie Quinney | WEF | 14 April 2020.
- Inger Andersen (ONU): Auxiliar a la naturaleza será el gran muro frente a las pandemias. Amaya Quincoces & Pedro Alonso | EFE | 12 April 2020.
Jane Goodall says 'disrespect for animals' caused pandemic. Stéphane Orjollet | AFP | 11 April 2020.
- We need to fundamentally transform our relationship with the natural world to reduce the risk of disease. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity) | The Independent | 10 April 2020.
- A message from the Secretary of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, Miguel Clusener-Godt, on the COVID-19 crisis. UNESCO | 10 April 2020.
Will the next coronavirus come from Amazonia? Deforestation and the risk of infectious diseases (commentary). Philip M. Fearnside | Mongabay | 8 April 2020.
- Coronavirus: why a blanket ban on wildlife trade would not be the right response. Dan Challender (Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group) et al. | The Conversation | 8 April 2020.
- Interview : « La pandémie de Covid-19 montre qu’il est possible de réduire l’impact de l’activité économique sur l’environnement » (Lee White, ministre des Forêts du Gabon). La libreville | 8 April 2020.
Cradle of the Virus: How Forests are the Source of and Solution to Emergent Pathogens. Craig Beatty | WWF | 8 April 2020.
- Six nature facts related to coronaviruses. UNEP | 8 April 2020.
- Stanford researchers show how forest loss leads to spread of disease. Rob Jordan |
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment | 8 April 2020.
Human impact on wildlife to blame for spread of viruses, says study. John Vidal | The Guardian (The age of extinction) | 8 April 2020.
- Global shifts in mammalian population trends reveal key predictors of virus spillover risk. Christine K. Johnson et al | The Royal Society | 8 April 2020.
- Statement by Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, on the occasion of World Health Day (see appendix on COVID-19, zoonotic disease, biodiversity and human health) | Convention on Biological Diversity | 7 April 2020.
The Imperative of Ending Wildlife Crime. John Scanlon | Global Social Leaders | 7 April 2020.
Connecting human and wildlife health key to stave off the next pandemic. John Scanlon | 7 April 2020.
- Probable Pangolin Origin of SARS-CoV-2Associated with the COVID-19 Outbreak. Zhang et al. | Current Biology, 30, 1346–1351 | 6 April 2020
Open letter to World Health Organisation - COVID-19: Health risks and wildlife markets – the need for a permanent global ban on wildlife markets and a highly precautionary approach to wildlife trade. From world's wildlife groups | 6 April 2020.
High risk markets must close. WWF | 6 April 2020.
Why we must close high-risk wildlife markets. WWF USA, 6 April 2020.
- Public Calls for Governments to Close S.E. Asia’s Wildlife Markets in Response to COVID-19. GlobaScan | 6 April 2020.
- Ban wildlife markets to avert pandemics, says UN biodiversity chief. Patrick Greenfield | The Guardian (The age of extinsion) | 6 April 2020.
- Wildlife trade, COVID-19 and zoonotic disease risks: shaping the response. TRAFFIC | 6 April 2020.
- How to prevent outbreaks of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19. Maxwell Gomera | aljazeera | 5 April 2020.
- Coronaviruses: are they here to stay? UNEP | 3 April 2020.
- Coronaviruses: Contagious Beasts and Where to Find Them. Anatoly Kozlov | The Science breaker (partnership with Unige) | 3 April 2020.
- We need our tropical forests more than ever. Jeff Conant of Friends of Earth | Medium | 1 April 2020.
- Our environmental practices make pandemics like the coronavirus more likely. Sigal Samuel | Vox | 31 March 2020.
- Coronavirus won't be the last outbreak. Climate change, waning habitat will drive disease. Amanda Morris | Arizona Republic | 30 March 2020.
- Coronavirus : « Les animaux qui nous ont infectés ne sont pas venus à nous ; nous sommes allés les chercher ». Ibrahim Thiaw (Executive Secretary of UNCCD) | Le Monde | 29 March 2020.
- WCS Issues Policy on Reducing Risk of Future Zoonotic Pandemics. Wildlife Conservation Society | 28 March 2020.
- Didier Sicard : "Il est urgent d'enquêter sur l'origine animale de l'épidémie de Covid-19". France Culture | 27 March 2020.
- Expert: To prevent pandemics like COVID-19, 'take care of nature'. Kiley Price | Conservation International | 27 March 2020.
- Identifying SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses in Malayan pangolins. Lam, T.T., Shum, M.H., Zhu, H. et al. | Nature | 26 March 2020.
- Trafficked pangolins can carry coronaviruses closely related to pandemic strain. Rachael Bale | National Geographic | 26 March 2020.
- Coronavirus: 'Nature is sending us a message’, says UN environment chief. Damian Carrington in The Guardian | 25 March 2020.
- It takes a whole world to create a new virus, not just China. Laura Spinney in The Guardian | 25 March 2020.
- Covid-19 ou la pandémie d’une biodiversité maltraitée. Philippe Grandcolas & Jean-Lou Justine | The Conversation | 25 March 2020.
- The Imperative of Ending Wildlife Crime. John Scanlon (Special Envoy, African Parks) | IISD SDG knowledge hub guest blog | 24 March 2020.
- Congress Urged to Address Wildlife Issues Linked to Virus. Ellen M. Gilmer in Bloomberg environment | 24 March 2020.
- Coronavirus origins: genome analysis suggests two viruses may have combined. Alexandre Hassanin | published by World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Conversation | 20 March 2020.
- 'Tip of the iceberg': is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19? John Vidal | The Guardian | 18 March 2020.
- Destruction of habitat and loss of biodiversity are creating the perfect conditions for diseases like COVID-19 to emerge. John Vidal | Ensia | 17 March 2020.
- Coronavirus and the ‘Pangolin Effect’: Increased exposure to wildlife poses health, biosafety and global security risks. Daniel Mira-Salama | in WorldBank Blog | 17 March 2020.
- CITES Secretariat’s statement in relation to COVID-19. CITES | 17 March 2020.
- Scientists link outbreaks such as Covid-19 to biodiversity loss. Scientists link outbreaks such as Covid-19 to biodiversity loss | hindunstan times | 15 March 2020.
- How biodiversity loss is hurting our ability to combat pandemics. John Scott | World Economic Forum | 9 March 2020.
- Coronavirus outbreak highlights need to address threats to ecosystems and wildlife. UNEP | 3 March 2020.
- Time to end the scourge of wildlife crime. John Scanlon | the Independent | 3 March 2020.
- Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). World Organization for Animal Health (regularly updated).
- Think Exotic Animals Are to Blame for the Coronavirus? Think Again. Sonia Shah | The Nation | 18 February 2020.
- 2019-nCoV in context: lessons learned? Richard Kock et al. | The Lancet Planetary Health | 6 February 2020.
COVID-19 & waste management
With COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread, national and local governments are urged to treat waste management, including medical, household and other hazardous waste, as an urgent and essential public service in order to minimise possible secondary impacts upon health and the environment.
COVID-19 & Plastic (and reusable items)
Plastic does not inherently make something clean and safe. Experts are proposing to bring back the bring-your-own-cup scheme.
COVID-19 & exposure to hazardous substances
Hosing down migrants and workers with bleach to ‘disinfect’ them is a ghastly and inhumane practice to combat COVID-19, said UN Special Rapporteur on toxic wastes. The Special Rapporteur appealed to States and businesses on the dire need to protect the brave doctors, nurses, first responders, and others on the front lines in this fight.
COVID-19 impact on wildlife
COVID-19 is having an impact on animals. Great apes, of which seven species are already threatened by extinction, are potentially vulnerable to this new virus. Lockdowns and the loss of tourism revenue also create challenges for protecting wildlife.
- Conservation must not be a COVID victim. John Scanlon | The Independent | 13 May 2020.
- There are no winners in the illegal trade in wildlife. Ivonne Higuero (CITES SG) | UNEP | 5 May 2020.
- As wildlife tourism grounds to a halt, who will pay for the conservation of nature? Johan Robinson | Mongabay Conservation News | 23 April 2020.
- Quarantining also means caring for our great ape relatives. Elizabeth L. Bennett (Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society - WCS) | IUCN Crossroafds Blog | 15 April 2020.
- Nature’s comeback? No, the coronavirus pandemic threatens the world’s wildlife. Charlie Gardner (University of Kent) | The Converstation | 8 April 2020.
- Poaching threats loom as wildlife safaris put on hold due to COVID-19. Dina Fine Maron | National Geographic | 10 April 2020.
- COVID-19—the role of wild plants in health treatment and why sustainability of their trade matters. Anastasiya Timoshyna, Ling Xu, Zhang Ke | TRAFFIC | 7 April 2020.
- 3 ways the coronavirus is affecting animals around the world. Josephine Moulds | World Economic Forum | 7 April 2020.
- Tiger tests positive for coronavirus at Bronx Zoo, first known case in the world. Natasha Daly | National Geographic | 5 April 2020.
- The Coronavirus Lockdown Is a Threat for Many Animals, Not a Blessing. Matt Simon | WIRED | 4 April 2020.
- Great apes and covid-19, an additional threat to already endangered species? UNESCO | 1 April 2020.
- How zoos must change to keep great apes safe from coronavirus. Lesley Elizabeth Craig | The Conversation | 1 April 2020.
- COVID-19-led ban on wild meat could take protein off the table for millions of forest dwellers. Robert Nasi and John E. Fa | CIFOR Forest news | 30 March 2020.
- Wildlife rescue centres struggle to treat endangered species in coronavirus outbreak.Gloria Dickie | The Guardian | 28 March 2020.
- Les humains sont confinés, la nature reprend ses droits. AFP | 28 March 2020.
- Virus which causes COVID-19 threatens great ape conservation. UNEP | 25 March 2020.
- Coronavirus poses lethal threat to great apes, experts warn. Damian Carrington | The Guardian | 24 March 2020.
- COVID-19: protect great apes during human pandemics. Thomas R. Gillespie & Fabian H. Leendertz | Nature | 24 March 2020.
- Great apes, COVID-19 and the SARS CoV-2. UCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group and the Primate Specialist Group,Section on Great Apes | 15 March 2020.
COVID-19 & the biodiversity crisis
2020 was expected to be ‘Super Year for Nature,’ with a number of international meetings and negotiations (World Conservation Congress, UN Ocean Conference, UN Nature Summit and other preparatory meetings) leading to the a global biodiversity conference that would agree on a decade-long 'Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework', and the acknowledgment of nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and additional benefits. Their postponement brings worries as we are loosing critical time to address the biodiversity crisis.