Webinar on COVID-19 and its Relationship With Nature – Build Back Better

Sustainable Natural Resource Management is Important to Prevent Pandemics in Future, Say Experts

Islamabad, 21 July 2020 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) hosted a webinar on COVID-19 and its relationship with nature – Build Back Better. More than 130 participants including experts, members from industry, academia and students attended the event. The webinar highlighted the challenges and the criticality of sustainable natural resource management.

The panelists emphasized the importance of natural resource management for sustainable development. Whenever natural ecosystems and biodiversity are disturbed, it creates problems.  Due to population pressure and rapid unplanned urbanization, natural resources are under immense stress. Epidemics have started when humans have disturbed the natural ecology. Humans have to change their behavior while interacting with natural resources. It is essential that youth play an important and active role in natural resource management and their voices are heard, as they are the next generation of conservationists. Incentives are necessary for construction companies, urban and rural planning initiatives and policy development on green and eco-friendly initiatives. Community participation in conservation with economic benefits for sustainable livelihoods has been proven to be critical.  As businesses and industries are opening again, they need to focus on reducing their carbon footprint and minimize the damage to the ecology. From grass-root to policy level, a build back better strategy should be adopted.

There were many questions from a highly active and interested group of online participants. From the discussion, action areas for partners’ future interventions were identified.