One of the most popular talks in 2020 could be the “Covid-19 crisis” to humanity. The Covid-19 virus has been massively widespread in all the parts of the world and has rapidly devastated the normal lives of the human and also significantly affected climate change, biodiversity, and disaster risk. On Monday, 25 May 2020, the Youth for Environment Education and Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation), Nepal has organized the third in a series of webinars on the topic “Sustaining Economy, Public Health and Environment for the future of humanity”.
Four respected foreign panellists who are the experts in their respective fields, such as climate change, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable energy, were invited to speak. The first speaker was Mr. Christian Mortelliti, who spoke on behalf of Ms. Aneta Slaveykova Nikolova is Contractor in the Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), Bangkok, Thailand. He started speaking with the highlight of the Asia-Pacific region having 17/36 global diversity areas and 7/17 world Megadiverse countries, but the recent decrease in biodiversity for both flora and fauna due to human actions.
The second speaker, Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, who is UN Secretary General appointed UN SDG Advocate and Expert Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) from Chad, Africa spoke on the sub-topic Climate Change and COVID-19 Crisis. She mentioned that the Covid-19 and Climate Change most common is that it affects the majority of communities and countries. She talked about an example of Lake Chad that has been 25,000 km2 for many years but has been shrunk over the years and now covers the 1,350 km2 of area. She also stated that the indigenous people in her community use their traditional knowledge to predict weather and other changes in the environment. The Covid-19 and Climate Change are closely linked to each other and have really affected populations with poverty that has no access to food and safety and adequate wellbeing. She pointed out that 5% of indigenous people have protected 80% of biodiversity, and if indigenous people’s rights and knowledge are recognized then it will certainly help to mitigate the current and potential future pandemic.
The third topic of discussion was ‘Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and COVID-19 Crisis’ presented by Ms. Shaila Shahid, Senior Advisor, Climate Change, DRR & Gender, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Dhaka, Bangladesh. She gave an insight into the triple burden that the world has been facing right now i.e. poverty, Covid-19, and disasters. She stated that the world needs the leadership of youths now more than ever and how they can be engaged in preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery.She also presented on the role of youth towards climate-induced disasters.
Similarly, the fourth topic of discussion was ‘Sustainable Energy and COVID-19 Crisis’ introduced by Ms. Maria Pastukhova, Doctoral Fellow and Project Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin, Germany. She spoke on the impacts of Covid-19 on the global energy system and fossil fuel market with an emphasis on the importance and advantages of renewable energy during as well as the post-covid-19 world. She put a limelight on the challenges of the global energy transition. Also, she presented the responsibilities of the communities as well as the government to combat the situation for the sustainability of the future.
After the completion of all the presentations, Synthesis and Call for Action was carried out by Mr. Joshua Amponsem, Executive Director (ED), Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO), Ghana, Africa. Then the program headed towards the Question and Answer round where the questions of the participants were addressed by the speakers. The program formally came to an end with the vote of thanks and closing remarks by Ms Soney Rai, Member of Board of Directors, YFEED Foundation.