On Wednesday 13 October 2021, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) released its COVID-19 Position Paper 3.0 and supporting set of taped Japanese and English language webinars. The paper, entitled “Actionable Recommendations and Ambitious Directions for Restoring Planetary Health in the COVID-19 Era,” aims to help policymakers translate the concept of planetary health into interventions that can prevent future pandemics. The recommended interventions include actionable measures such as limiting the spread of viruses with sustainable management of wet markets and wastewater. They also include more ambitious directions such as strengthening the integration between climate change and biodiversity policy processes.
The taped webinars offer an opportunity for IGES researchers to discuss the paper with partners from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the journal Sustainability Science. The webinars describe the relevance of planetary health for previous environmental crises such as Japan’s Minamata crisis as well as how such as crises open opportunities to invest in policies consistent with sustainability science. The webinars also reflect on the implications of planetary health for the upcoming 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The publication and the webinars build off IGES COVID-19 Position Paper 1.0 that discussed the need to act on the far-reaching environmental implications of COVID-19 in the short, medium, and long term. It also drew from IGES COVID-19 Position Paper 2.0 that presented a Triple R (Response, Recovery, Redesign) Framework to help policymakers align actions with short, medium, and long term outlooks in the wake of the pandemic.
IGES will continue to work with relevant organisations at home and abroad to promote the measures outlined in this position paper and protect the health of people and the planet.