A Time for Transformation: Building a More Sustainable, Resilient, and Inclusive Asia-Pacific after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated communities at all levels around the world, brings to light numerous environmental, social, and economic implications. As governments and non-state actors begin to consider pathways toward economic recovery, issues regarding the environment and sustainability - both preexisting and emerging - must be considered. Here, IGES provides research and insights on building a more resilient and inclusive Asia-Pacific region after COVID-19.


 

Implications of COVID-19 for the Environment and Sustainability

IGES released its position paper on the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and associated global environmental challenges, based on the results of its analysis to date. In this paper IGES identifies key issues through the lens of the environment and sustainability, and the environmental and sustainability challenges associated with the crisis, and their potential solutions, by categorising core issues requiring attention in the “short-term”, “medium-term”, and “long-term”. IGES ecognises that the COVID-19 pandemic is closely related to – and extends beyond – these issues, and cannot be left unaddressed.

Submission to Policy Process
In a few short months, COVID-19 has morphed from a dangerous regional health threat to an all-consuming global pandemic and economic disaster. COVID-19’s rapid spread has had far-reaching implications on the everyday lives of people in nearly all corners of the world, and underlines the need for governments at all levels to coordinate cross-cutting...

Explanatory Video

Establishing a "Regional/Local CES" for Localizing SDGs in the Face of COVID-19

COVID-19 revealed vulnerability due to unsustainable interactions between societies and natural systems, intensified by rapid globalisation. What is the key to achieving a sustainable society and well-being on a global scale? In this video Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President of IGES, introduces the idea of a “Regional/Local Circulating and Ecological Sphere” (CES), presenting its significance and linkage with the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Relevant Publications

Peer-reviewed Article
In Water
Author:
Ram
Avtar
Hitesh
Supe
Dou
Jie
Netranada
Sahu
Binaya Kumar
Mishra
Ali P
Yunus
The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has brought countries around the world to a standstill in the early part of 2020. Several nations and territories around the world insisted their population stay indoors for practicing social distance in order to avoid infecting the disease. Consequently, industrial activities, businesses, and all modes of...
Policy Report
Author:
Tsukiji
Makoto
Isanto Solihin
Yugo Pratomo
Keith
Alversion
Shunichi
Honda
Daniel
Ternald
Misato
Diley
Junko
Fujioka
Dyota
Condrorini
This report provides practical information, suggestions, and guidelines on Healthcare Waste Management (HCWM) and Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) given the restrictions and limitations imposed by the ongoing pandemic, including lack of human resources, technologies, equipment, and funds. This report builds on existing and ad- hoc...
Keywords:
Presentation
High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2020 Side Event "Satoyama Initiative – Societies in Harmony with Nature: An inclusive approach for communities, landscapes and seascapes"
This presentation is about the critical role of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It overviews the Satoyama Initiative, including the Satoyama Development Mechanism, and discusses resilience in the face of COVID-19...
Working Paper
While the initial pieces of evidence indicate that COVID-19 induced economic slowdown and lockdown present short-term benefits to air quality and the environment, these also pose a double-edged challenge in the long-term. On one side, the slowing down of the economy can have an adverse impact on countries’ ongoing efforts towards climate mitigation...
Policy Report
Author:
Kaye
Patdu
Elsa
Lefevre
Arnico
Panday
Bjarne
Pederson
Dang
Espita
Adelaida
Roman
Hooman
Farzaneh
Ittipol
Pawarmart
Supat
Wangwongwatana
Virender
Duggal
Zacharias
Malik
Chris
O'Malley
Johan
Kuylenstiern
Kevin
Hicks
Markus
Amann
Zbigniew
Klimont
Janusz
Cofala
The ACP White Paper 2020 offers policymakers pragmatic recommendations on how they can mobilise finance, strengthen policies, and build capacities to implement at scale many of the 25 solutions in UNEP’s Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions.

Relevant Events

APO Productivity Talk: “Greening the COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Redesign”

While COVID-19 has caused tremendous socioeconomic loss and suffering, it has also opened opportunities for an environmentally sustainable future. On 6 October, IGES staff delivered a lecture entitled “Greening the COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Redesign”, emphasising that the key to a sustainable future is a planning framework that supports integrated policies and actions across these phases. Also called the Triple R Framework, the aim of this approach is to green our response to the pandemic, setting the stage for environmentally sustainable recovery and redesign of socioeconomic systems. The APO Talk was conducted by Eric Zusman (Research Director, Sustainability Governance Centre), Andre Mader (Programme Director, Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services), and Matthew Hengesbaugh (Communications Coordinator, Sustainability Governance Centre), who discussed case examples where the framework can be applied to sustainable consumption and production and biodiversity.

Presentation Materials: https://www.iges.or.jp/jp/pub/list/publisher/4714

 
 

Thursday, 28 May 2020, 9:00 - 11:30 am (NY time)
Webinar 1: Thinking ahead for a sustainable, just and resilient recovery

 

Thursday, 28 May 2020, 3:30 - 5:00 pm (Incheon, Republic of Korea time)
East and North-East Asia Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020

Relevant Links

Energy Policy Tracker

The Energy Policy Tracker, led by IGES and 13 other organizations, is an initiative that offers the latest climate and energy-related information and experts’ analyses on national COVID-19 recovery policies among the G20. The online database is updated on a weekly basis.

 
Platform For Redesign 2020

Platform for Redesign 2020:The Online Platform for Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19 (“Platform for Redesign 2020”) is a hub that collates countries’ climate and other environmental policies and actions that are planned and implemented in the context of recovery from COVID-19. The Platform for Redesign 2020 is led by the Ministry of the Environment Japan, supported by the UNFCCC, and managed by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

 
Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services | IPBES
Unsustainable interactions between societies and natural systems are among distal factors underpinning COVID-19. The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services reveals that, due to human impact on the environment in the past half-century, the Earth’s biodiversity has suffered a catastrophic decline at a scale that is unprecedented in human history. To address this, it calls for urgent and concerted efforts fostering transformative change.