The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a worldwide crisis of food insecurity and unemployment. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns of rising hunger and poverty.
Commentators, particularly from the global North, have raised concerns about the implications for biodiversity. The first is that in some places, budgets for biodiversity conservation have been reduced by a drastic drop in tourism revenues, or by the diversion of funds and forces to health-related functions. Secondly, growing poverty and the loss of livelihoods may drive people to poach.
Others are concerned that there will be increased habitat loss due to forest clearance for fuel-wood and subsistence agriculture. There have been widespread calls for the banning of wet markets and use of bushmeat. MORE
Header image: Woman selling baobab fibre mats in Zimbabwe. Credit: Rachel Wynberg.