COVID and Climate Collaboration: A Civil Society Perspective

Nov 30 2020 | 08:10:07
COVID19 exploded on the world scene like a horror movie, with a mysterious virus on a killing spree, and an army of researchers trying to develop a vaccine to contain the life threatening pathogen. The crisis triggered a health and economic crisis, exposing societal fragility and heightening the need for collaboration between different sectors in performing social, economic and environmental functions.
The pandemic comes on the heels of the climate crisis at a time when the world is already facing the monumental challenge of global warming. ‘COVID and CLIMATE’ therefore pose a twin threat to human security, as the challenges associated with both will create new stressors and require new ways for managing crises and fragility. At risk are lives and livelihoods of millions, and the danger of many getting mired in a poverty trap from which it may become increasingly difficult for some to emerge without permanent damage.
The high risk of contagion and absence of a cure has compelled governments and citizens alike to take unprecedented mitigating actions. The rapid spread of the disease and its paralyzing socioeconomic impact on national and global economies, as well as restriction on movement, makes it necessary to reexamine existing models of governance. Crises pose a threat not just to economies but also to fundamental values of democracy and human rights, thereby highlighting the importance and need for bringing a shift in the governance model. This can best be achieved by placing citizens at the heart of decision-making for building trust, underpinned by openness, for making society resilient and better prepared to cope with future emergencies and crises. While many different strategies have been employed to combat COVID-19, the one aspect that has come out strongly is the role of civil society and the need for collaborative approaches in responding to crises and fragility.

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