Blog

02 July 2020

The Covid-19 crisis in Colombia – Slowing the virus while accelerating social and economic impacts

In Colombia, where almost half of the population is economically vulnerable, achieving a low number of cases and deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 is not, on its own, a sufficient measure of success. The government must also increase its investments in effective public policies to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
15 June 2020

Another health crisis: German forests

As we are coping with a public health crisis, I spend a lot of time on our balcony looking at the sickly tree in our yard and can’t help but wonder about this other health crisis. It isn’t caused by a single virus but by weather extremes in combination with other environmental stressors and drivers of devastation. Looking at the statistics, forests all over Germany are in a bad state - with a risk of disappearing completely.
03 June 2020

A recipe for disaster: combine Covid-19 with the deforestation crisis in the Colombian Amazon

Deforestation in the Colombian Amazon is increasing during the pandemic. This directly affects the living conditions of ancestral communities, with Covid-19 putting additional pressure on indigenous communities.
30 May 2020

Bolsonaro-19 and Brazilian forests

For its many dreadful consequences, Covid-19 has momentarily led to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around the globe. But not in Brazil, which is battered by the full force of the pandemic, but yet sees increased GHG emissions due to a surge in deforestation rates in the Amazon. It is as if Brazilian forests are suffering from a unique strain of the Covid family – one we term here ‘Bolsonaro-19’.
27 May 2020

Working through wicked problems: Coronavirus and implications for the future

“Wicked problems”, such as climate change or the Covid-19 pandemic, are the most complex challenges our societies face. Despite there being no single solution to such problems, it is clear that we need a total systems change and societal transformation or else the domino effects and feedback loops of wicked problems will perpetuate.
21 May 2020

The Amazon is still on fire amid Covid-19 increased pressure

Following a recent initial blog article on the impact of Covid-19 on global meat supply chains, it is becoming increasingly clear, that coronavirus impacts on the global economy and food supply chains are adding up critical pressure on the Amazon. The current pandemic is focusing all public attention and shadows the existing risks for the Amazon forest.
12 May 2020

A crisis among crises: Reflections on the Covid-19 pandemic in Afghanistan

Since the first Covid-19 cases reached Afghanistan, the overall sentiment among ordinary people has been fear. Not only fear of the virus but also of hunger, which can be summed in what many people have told me: “Corona is bad but starvation is worse!”.
15 April 2020

The thin line, between pushing out the virus, but not basic constitutional rights with it

We must be prepared to speak up and ask governments to ensure measures to contain the pandemic last no longer than absolutely necessary. Constant reminders to keep on social distancing are as much required now as calls on governments to re-establish all basic constitutional rights as soon as possible.
10 April 2020

Coronavirus and environmental justice in Washington, DC

In the US, the coronavirus lays pre-existing inequalities bare and shows that ecological destruction and marginalization go hand in hand. The Washington, DC area, like most of the country, is no stranger to wide disparities between the rich and the poor, between white people and people of color.
01 April 2020

Science, corona and climate change

The corona crisis put science in the spotlight. In the current situation, politicians turn to epidemiologists and virologists for advice – they have quickly advanced to become some of the most trusted persons in public life. This crisis provides us an opportunity to raise the profile of scientists defending other public goods, most notably a stable climate.