COVID-19 and Protected and Conserved Areas
Editorial essay on COVID-19 and protected and conserved areas published in PARKS (WCPA-IUCN), 2020 (Foto: Komodo National Park, Indonesia, 2018).
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic impact on the global community; on people’s lives and health, livelihoods, economies, and behaviours. Most zoonotic disease pandemics, including COVID-19, arise from the unsustainable exploitation of nature. This special editorial provides a snapshot of how protected and conserved areas around the world are being impacted by COVID-19. For many protected and conserved areas, negative impacts on management capacity, budgets and effectiveness are significant, as are impacts on the livelihoods of communities living in and around these areas. We provide a commentary on how effectively and equitably managed systems of protected and conserved areas can be part of a response to the pandemic that both lessens the chance of a recurrence of similar events and builds a more sustainable future for people and nature. We conclude the editorial with a Call for Action for the rescue, recovery, rebuilding and expansion of the global network of protected and conserved areas.