Bhubaneswar: COVID-19 may be brought under control once a vaccine is discovered, but climate change is here to stay and would pose severe threat to humankind. That was the view of experts at a national webinar on climate change, environmentalism and COVID-19 which was organized by the city-based Focus Odisha Foundation in collaboration with COVID-19 Civil Society Initiative, Mahashakti Foundation and Migration Watch India.
“We need to act on it sooner rather than later as climate variability and extreme weather events have become more frequent,” said visiting professor of School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences of IIT Bhubaneswar Prof. UC Mohanty. “It needs more focus on building climate and disaster resilient villages and preparing resilient cities so that people survive during future crises like coronavirus pandemic,” added Prof Mohanty while speaking at the virtual dialogue – Has climate change anything to do with COVID-19?
CEO of New Delhi-based Research Organization i-FOREST Chandra Bhushan underlined the need for a strategic and cautious approach towards policy to protect and conserve our environment, ecology and biodiversity. Because of massive deforestation, he felt, eating habits of humans has changed and they consume more exotic food as a result of which there is widespread destruction of natural resources and massive spread and outbreak of virus and bacteria-related diseases.
Retired bureaucrat and state resource person for Competitive Commission of India Pradip K Biswal stressed the need to integrate policy and planning of ecological aspects and emerging climate challenges.
Director of Focus Odisha Foundation and Moderator of the virtual event Sudarshan Chhotoray described climate change and COVID-19 as two sides of a coin and said that human interference with nature is beginning to haunt us.
The webinar was coordinated by Jugal K Patnaik and Shrushrita Rath of Mahashakti Foundation.