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Nature protection takes backseat in most pandemic recovery plans

New York – Most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments in their Covid-19 pandemic recovery plans, says a study. Indeed, some countries, including the US, Brazil and Australia, are back-tracking on existing laws and relaxing regulations and enforcement actions aimed at protecting nature, according to lead author Pamela McElwee, Associate Professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the US.

Only the European Union and member countries are making substantial financial investments in biodiversity for post-Covid planning, said the study published in the journal One Earth. The paper, by economists, anthropologists and environmental scientists at many institutions on three continents, explores the changes in global economic systems — including incentives, regulations, fiscal policy and employment programmes — that are necessary to shift away from activities that damage biodiversity and move toward those supporting ecosystem resilience.

Unless action is taken, around one million species face extinction, many within decades, and the global rate of species extinction will accelerate, according to the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). That report noted the extinction rate is “already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years.”

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