The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.
Indeed, some countries, including the United States, Brazil and Australia, are back-tracking on existing laws and relaxing regulations and enforcement actions aimed at protecting nature, according to lead author Pamela McElwee, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
“Just 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 crisis. But when we look at what countries are doing, either in their prior budget and policies or especially in their post-COVID planning and recovery packages, very few governments are putting their money where their mouths are,” McElwee 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.” MORE
Header image: Pamela McElwee.