September, 2020

Time for a global reset, to address the planetary emergency

Andrea Meza, Minister of Environment and Energy for Costa Rica

Costa Rica is leading the way to rebalance our troubled relationship with nature

This year has revealed the extent to which nature underpins our human health, security and prosperity. The warming climate and rapid loss of biodiversity is sounding a planetary emergency alarm.

Our encroachment on nature has unleashed a global pandemic this year and a resulting economic crisis, while people around the world are facing ravaging forest fires, extreme weather events, droughts, record heat waves, rising sea levels, ocean degradation, air pollution and looming food insecurity.

The global community must act urgently and decisively. There is no single solution to the emergency – we will need to undertake systemic transformation of our economies and our societies.

The response must start with the health and well-being of people. The global health crisis is the symptom of a much deeper and longer-term disruption. Science tells us that deforestation, biodiversity loss, wildlife trafficking and meat consumption increase the risks of pandemics. Our consumption patterns are driving more and more resource-intensive industries, mining and agricultural production.

Instead of provoking nature, we should be nurturing it to help us improve health and well-being. Healthy ecosystems can provide clean water, clean air, protect against natural disasters, furnish life-saving medications and ensure long term food security.

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