The spread of the coronavirus presents the world with enormous challenges. Since the climate crisis we know that the balance on our planet is fragile. Our world has become vulnerable. Like climate change, the current corona pandemic shows that national borders do not provide protection against global problems. Global problems such as climate change, environmental degradation or food insecurity cannot be tackled in isolation because these problems are interlinked and interdependent. The corona pandemic reveals the systemic nature of our world: human, animal and environmental health are closely interrelated.
There is no doubt that Covid-19 is a wake-up call for humanity to reflect on our globalized way of living and the way we treat nature.
Agroecology, part of the solution
SWISSAID has been promoting agroecological production for decades. Agroecology is a powerful systemic approach that can help strengthen the relationship between nature, agriculture and health and promote a sustainable food system. Agroecology promotes biodiversity and genetic diversity. Agroecologically managed farms are therefore more resilient to crises, viruses and pests – for humans, plants and animals.
The current corona pandemic demonstrates that by violating the basic laws of ecology and by promoting industrial agriculture, new infectious diseases in humans – originating from farm animals and animals in nature – emerge. This development must be countered.
In these days when governments impose travel and trade restrictions and block entire cities to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the fragility of the global food system is becoming very clear. Trade and travel restrictions could limit the flow of imported food, with devastating consequences for access to food. The promotion of local food systems, as provided for in agroecology, makes more sense than ever in this scenario.
Covid-19 reminds us that a respectful treatment of nature and the promotion of local and sustainable food systems is not only a question of the environment, but a question of survival for all of us, but especially for the poor and disadvantaged people.