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 and cross-boundary response and recovery programmes.
Global sustainability is at the core of the IGES mission. The Institute is thus dedicated to working across international boundaries and across issues to support response and recovery. In this position paper, we identify key issues through the lens of the environment and sustainability. We consider this view essential in dealing effectively with such pandemics and their wide-ranging impacts in the short-, medium- and long-term. In addition to presenting issues where we see scope for IGES work over different time periods, we identify potential initiatives in which IGES could collaborate with our partners inside and outside of Japan.