According to a new study, this COVID-19 pandemic could benefit us with a more diverse future. Scientists believe that with proper planning, we could use what has been learned from the global lockdown to improve global biodiversity.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in place, most countries have advised citizens to stay indoors. In many states, a lockdown has been ordered to prevent the transmission of the disease.
As the global pandemic has kept millions of people the world over isolating in their homes, nature has reacted. Reports of wild animals roaming city streets and small towns alike have made headlines.
Also, the air has become cleaner, and many cities have become quiet. Such changes have served as a reminder that humans are not the sole residents of planet Earth.
A new study by the team in Australia suggests that these recent changes present the world with a new opportunity to alter the ways that governments and environmentalists approach the issue of diversification as we move into a post-pandemic world.
They note that history has shown that dramatic world events can lead to change—the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine, for example, led to humans abandoning vast swaths of land, allowing nature to take its course. The result has been the creation of a vast wilderness area now designated as an ecological reserve.
Another example was the Columbian conflict, which, for years, served as a protection zone for plants and animals because humans were afraid to venture into areas occupied by armed rebels.
They suggest the lockdown effect could have a similar impact if long-term strategies are put in place to preserve the positive changes that nature has made and to expand on them to increase biodiversity in other places.
Not only this but also the lockdown has coaxed people into rethinking some of their consumer habits—and maybe to changing some as the pandemic ends.
Scientists think that the pandemic could represent a tipping point in how the human race views the planet. This could be a time for the development of new strategies, they suggest, and to implement them—to tip the balance in favor of a more diverse, environmentally friendly planet.
- Ryan M. Pearson, COVID-19 recovery, can benefit biodiversity. DOI: 10.1126/science.abc1430