For WWF India, 2020 brings in its 50th year of working towards the cause of nature conservation. Our journey, since we started as a small team based out of Hornbill House in Mumbai, to an organisation of over 400 people spread across the length and breadth of India, has been punctuated by learning and adapting to the evolving environment and development challenges facing the country. Starting with a focus on the conservation of specific wildlife species, WWF India’s current programme of work encompasses all the interconnectedness and complexities of ensuring that the environment remains a key focus in the development trajectory of India.
Events this year have brought into sharp focus the links between human health and the health of our ecosystems. The science that links the loss of forests and wildlife to the emergence of pandemics is has never been clearer and the COVID-19 pandemic has starkly highlighted the costs of ignoring the ongoing destruction of nature. While we continue to grapple with controlling the current pandemic, it also gives us an unparelleled opportunity to put in place policies and take action to halt and reverse the loss of nature that would help prevent future pandemics.
With deforestation and land use change; wildlife trade and sale of wild meat; and unsustainable agriculture expansion being seen as some of the drivers creating the conditions for the emergence of new viruses that could infect humans, we now need to tackle these issues with a renewed commitment. Future conservation strategies will need to address these issues using the best available knowledge and technologies to come up with innovative and long term solutions.
It is in this backdrop that the WWF India webinar series “Nature Matters” aims to present, explore and discuss the future of conservation in India. This will be done through 10 interactive discussions covering a range of emerging issues in conservation and sustainable development. As a part of this series, WWF India opens up with the session on Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing on 7th August, 2020 from 4:30-5:45pm, live on our Facebook page (link in the emailer)