SACEP Message on the COVID-19 pandemic

The global community is facing an unprecedented crisis of COVID-19. It is a global threat that spreading human suffering, destabilizing the global economy and disturbing the lives of billions of people around the globe.

SACEP stands in solidarity with all those affected by COVID-19. We will get through this crisis, but only if we act together in a spirit of harmony with discipline, hope and resolve.

Despite this challenge, SACEP continues its commitment in the field of environment. Our work in 2020 is not, in any form, on hold. We all are working remotely, organizing meetings virtually,and maximizing our efforts to ensure that we continue to support the South Asia region in addressing environmental issues.

Covid-19 has revealed the world’s vulnerabilities, many of which intersect with the environmental challenges. At the same time, it has highlighted the importance of expertise and science, cooperation, information and transparency.

Scientific community considers the environmental issues particularly those of land use change as the key drivers of emerging zoonotic diseases. Deforestation, habitat fragmentation and an expanding agricultural frontier increase the contacts between humans and other animals, potentially increasing the chances of zoonosis emerging and spreading. In understanding the consequences of human activities that lead to the spread of zoonotic diseases we can ensure we rebuild smartly, and clearly communicate effective long-term remedies to actors ranging from policy makers to local communities. It means that beyond the human tragedy, window of hope and opportunity is also open: an opportunity for nations to shape the economy of the 21st century in ways that are greener, cleaner, healthier and more resilient. We urge governments, as they reshape their economy, to make those plans as green and sustainable as possible.

SACEP will draw upon these lessons as we adjust to the new reality and we stand ready to support countries in their environmental efforts, now and beyond COVID-19.