Despite the human and economic crisis posed by Covid-19, the attainment of the SDGs must not stop and needs to be resumed with renewed momentum. Governments and companies rally to avoid stopping the fight against climate change and move towards a sustainable economy. The indicators of the status of SDG 6, which refers to water and sanitation, require investments demanded by society, increasingly aware of the need to protect the environment.
During the most drastic months of lockdown we have observed forgotten or unusual aspects of nature, but satellites have seen much more, especially in the water. The pandemic has allowed us to obtain data from nature with less pollution and science has taken the opportunity to find more answers. We need them.
The fear of coronavirus infection has revealed the social scourge of stigma. Some health professionals and other groups that have been at the frontline with their work have suffered social rejection. This is an attitude that, beyond the pandemic, affects the poorest and most discriminated people, as is often the case in the world of access to water and sanitation. We must end this burden to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Viruses, like water, know no borders, ethnicities or social classes.
Crisis upon crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has burst into a planet threatened by climate change and environmental degradation. On World Environment Day, mankind must return to action, aware that the fight to save the natural environment from degradation must continue. Effective communication is essential to modify behaviors and take advantage of the perception change of the territory we have had during the confinement.
The health emergency poses new challenges to urban planning. The criteria of sustainability are broadened with those of health, and the concept of healthy city radically changes if extreme poverty is not taken into account. The awareness that individual health is synonymous with collective health is one of the lessons of Covid-19 that we should not miss.
Beyond human tragedy, COVID-19 poses a reflection on how we relate to each other and to nature. And it leads us to another vision of the problems that beset the human species. The new society that is emerging from the crisis will have to integrate health emergencies into a more global vision with the values of proportionality and cohesion that are characteristic of the culture of the green economy. The path towards the SDGs must be aware of the fact that a pollution-free and ecologically balanced planet is synonymous with health.
The adoption of the circular economy in the complete water cycle is presented as the best option for achieving water security for large areas of the world in the face of climate change and demographic imbalances. The new productive model requires a communication challenge to achieve awareness and citizen participation in the understanding that the water cycle is a universal natural capital, knows no borders and is vital for the future of mankind.
The latest violent meteorological phenomena experienced in the western Mediterranean area force a review of the factors that define the risk of people and goods. The intensification of exposure and vulnerability is an anthropogenic factor that must be controlled in the face of the foreseeable increase in storms that science is pointing out. Beyond the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change, we have to renew our efforts to adapt to a reality that is here to stay.
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