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FUTURE BRIEF: COVID-19 and the environment: links, impacts and lessons learned – Issue 26

This brief looks at environmental factors that potentially contribute to the emergence of disease and the effects of COVID-19, and environmental impacts that have arisen from COVID-19.


Publication date
4 August 2022
Directorate-General for Environment


Since early 2020, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), known as COVID-19 (first detected at the end of 2019), has hit societies worldwide, unsparingly, causing huge impacts on people’s lives: our health, activities, livelihoods, societies and economies. However, over the course of the pandemic, COVID-19 is not the only crisis our human and planetary systems have been dealing with. While the pandemic has been progressing, the world has simultaneously been undergoing other existing crises: those of biodiversity loss, loss of environmental health and rapid climate changes, associated with resource use, land-use changes and ongoing emission of carbon into the atmosphere. A growing world population and encroachment into areas of high biodiversity and microbial diversity, often in search of food, minerals or for farming purposes has meant that habitats and species are increasingly under pressure from human activities (IPBES, 2020).

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COVID-19 and the environment: links, impacts and lessons learned.


COVID-19 and the environment: links, impacts and lessons learned English
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