Q) The pandemic has made it clear that the well being of the people and productivity of nature must be at the core of post COVID 19 economic recovery plans. Comment.
Why this Question?
Issue of current importance
Key demand of the Question
Explain how the post covid 19 economic recovery plans need to focus on the well being of the people and nature.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Start with giving a context about the question.
In the first part, mention the innumerable challenges that the world will face post the pandemic.
In the next part, highlight the approach that is needed in order to overcome these challenges.
Conclude with a way forward.
Beyond the current pandemic the world faces many deeper, more intractable and persistent crises. However, the pandemic has given mankind another opportunity to mend its ways. The political leadership around the world needs to realise that the utmost priority in such a situation has to be the well-being of the people and nature.
The challenges other than the pandemic are:
- Pervasive poverty and Marginalisation- the pandemic has forced the vulnerable sections of the society into deeper troubles and increased their debts to a large extent.
- Pollution- The lockdowns during the pandemic have helped reduce air pollution but increasing use of bio medical equipment has worsened the situations of water pollution. When the pandemic subsides and the industries will grow at a substantial rate, air pollution will also increase proportionately.
- Land Use change- increasing demand for urbanisation has led to massive deforestation thus changing the land use pattern across the world. This has also led to species/ habitat loss across the world.
- Climate Change- the world is facing the challenge of increasing global warming, melting glaciers, rising sea level and the steps taken against it have not yet yielded results.
- There are several other challenges like human and wildlife trafficking, unsustainable trade practices and resource depletion, etc.
There is a growing recognition that the pandemic, like these other challenges, is the consequence of the lopsided value systems and institutional arrangements that underlie our current economic policies and practices.
The approach needed to overcome these challenges is:
- First, a new kind of global solidarity and international cooperation for restoring the balance between people and nature and to build future resilience against existential threats is needed.
- Second, ensure that national and global commitments are met with alacrity for net-zero emissions, conservation of biodiversity, resource efficiency, reduction of wastes and pollution and maximise social and economic equity.
- Three, create safe and sustainable food systems by adopting regenerative agriculture, revitalise local production systems and shift to a more inclusive, green and circular economy, to secure the basic needs of food, water, energy and soil supplies, for all.
- Four, ensure that post Covid-19, exit and recovery cum fiscal stimulus strategies give priority to socially just, low-carbon, regenerative circular economic development, rather than bail-out policies that only serve to subsidise unsustainable and polluting industries.
It needs to be highlighted that it is not finances but the resolve of the leadership to achieve the above objectives that will be fundamental. To build a new global economy that ensures an equitable and environmentally sustainable future for all, nations, big or small, will have to pay much greater attention to facilitate systemic changes by building up strong civil societies, with research capacities for innovating suitable solutions.