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Protect environment, prevent pandemics, says UN

June 5 marks World Environment Day and this year’s day references the global Covid-19 health crisis, Source: Unsplash

June 5 marks World Environment Day and this year’s day references the global Covid-19 health crisis, Source: Unsplash

Published Jun 5, 2020

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DURBAN - “At least 70 percent of emerging infectious diseases such as

Covid-19

his message

said; “nature is sending us a clear message. We are harming the natural world, to our own detriment.”

Guterres noted that habitat degradation and biodiversity loss were accelerating, climate disruption is getting worse. To care for humanity, we must care for nature, he said.

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World Environment Day was launched in 1974; the 2020 edition, which has the tagline “Time for Nature”, is being hosted by Colombia, which is organizing several events live-streamed, which can be accessed on social media. The theme is biodiversity protection, at a time when one million animal and plant species are believed to be on the brink of extinction.

As countries open up and governments approve stimulus packages to support job creation, poverty reduction, development and economic growth, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is urging them to “build back better”.

A failure to do so, warns UNEP, and an attempted return to business as usual, risks seeing inequalities rising even further, and a worsening of the degradation of the planet, at a time when one million animal and plant species are on the brink of extinction.

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