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 recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic is closely related to – and extends beyond – these issues, and cannot be left unaddressed.

Submission to Policy Process

COVID-19’s wide-ranging social, environmental, and economic impacts has led to calls for policymakers to restore planetary health.  The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies’ (IGES) COVID-19 position paper 3.0 aims to help policymakers translate support for a healthy planet into actionable recommendations and ambitious policy directions.  A...

Submission to Policy Process

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. In fact, as of October 2020, at least 50 million people globally have tested positive for the virus, and...

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


Green Recovery from COVID-19 for a Sustainable Future


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

Discussion Paper

Many decision makers are contemplating whether policies and investments made in the wake of COVID-19 are inclusive, resilient and sustainable enough to bring about a course change in development. This paper outlines the design features of framework that helps policymakers steer a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable course. What the Institute...

Issue Brief

This Issue Brief has been developed for the discussion at the International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP2020), organized by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) from 9th -13rd November 2020.

This Issue Brief aims to: (i) facilitate discussion on the need to properly address the existing issue of poor...

Peer-reviewed Article
In Water
Binaya Kumar
Ali P

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...

Policy Report
Isanto Solihin
Yugo Pratomo

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...

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...

Relevant Events


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

On 6 October, IGES staff delivered an Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Productivity Talk 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.