Author: Raj Dave Gujarat Law Society, Ahmedabad
Covid-19 is a widespread disease that has affected the world and has brought up a lot many drawbacks of the existing economic system. All over the world, the virus outbreak has created havoc and nations are not to use their medical infrastructure to aid their citizenry and to cope up with their economic issues. Yet it is interesting to see how our ecosystem has cured itself when there is no human interference with the outside world. Stringent steps are taken to safeguard its economy and people who are facing intrinsic issues during the lockdown procedures followed by many countries.
I believe that even if our government is aiming to safeguard us during the crisis, it has indirectly stopped us from adversely polluting the environment. The best way to conserve the environment is to block human interference. We during this lockdown process must ensure that lessons are learned and that this crisis provides a watershed moment for health emergency preventive measures and for the investment in 21st-century public services and the effective delivery of global health services as well.
Looking at the scenario before the COVID-19 pandemic, the air around us was very toxic to breathe in due to the number of greenhouse gases that have been emitted over the centuries. The issues faced like rising temperatures, which in turn led to the melting of glaciers and rising of sea levels, forest fires, uneven climate changes, and depletion of resources. Environmental degradation was happening swiftly due to the depletion of resources such as air, water and soil. But after the lockdown procedure across nations, there have been palatial changes in the environmental structure of the entire globe.
After the lockdown was put in effect in various countries, there was the least travelling done by people, whether it be by their own cars, or by trains or flights. Even industries were closed down and not allowed to function during the initial lockdown. This, in turn, led to the pollution in the air go down significantly, as there was a remarkable decline in nitrous oxide emission. Air pollution levels are often influenced by local meteorologies, like temperature or wind speed. There are early analyses which show a decline in air pollution in regions where shutdowns have taken place. It is noteworthy that not only the air quality or climate change has improved, but there are also other factors that have been found healing due to natural conditions coming back.
There is a splendid conservation observed as biodiversity has improved and wildlife structures have been safe and not harmed by anyone. Another great accomplishment is that the oceans and rivers are clean and no pollution has led to a severe rise in water levels. No doubt, because of the lesser human footfall even the oceans are recovering and marine life is thriving. The aquatic biomass will increase because of no pollution as once over-fishing almost depleted it to an extinction-level. Apart from that, animals have been spotted moving about freely where once they would not dare to go.
Even sea turtles have been spotted returning to areas they once avoided to lay their eggs, all due to the lack of human interference.
It is important to note that even if we are not allowed to go out the agricultural sector has seen a significant increase in its productivity. With everything at a standstill, plants are allowed to thrive and grow and produce more coverage and oxygen. Less littering also means less clogging of the river, ponds, and water systems, which is good in the long run for the environment. Even if the problem was only with the environment, no one would have taken such a step for its conservation. The most phenomenal success that the global platform has achieved is the environmental revolution in an attempt which aimed at the safety and life of its people. The indirect result is that the lockdown procedures have helped us to actively protect the environment and biodiversity. The drawback of the shutdown is the economic downturn but our environment is reviving itself at its best. The human core needs to understand that this pandemic is not a human disease but a vaccine for the mother earth.
We are in dismay, but the earth is rather in relief…!!