Coronavirus vs. Conservation: How is coronavirus affecting nature conservation?

How is coronavirus affecting nature conservation? | Pigments by Liv

Today, there is not a human being in the world who has not felt the impact of COVID-19, but how is coronavirus affecting nature conservation? With lockdown restrictions being eased in many places, the pandemic is still finding new ways to put more pressure on the planet’s nature reserves. The reserves that environmental charities have worked so hard to protect are now in even more danger, so they need our help more than ever.

When the world ground to a halt, it was originally thought lockdown might have a positive impact on the environment and pave the way for a greener future. These people weren’t wrong, coronavirus caused the biggest drop in CO2 we’ve ever seen!

However, as restrictions have been eased it seems this drop in pollution is only temporary. According to National Geographic, businesses are desperate to make up for lost time so are pumping more harmful emissions into the air than before. It sucks, right?

Sadly, this isn’t the only environmental damage that coronavirus has caused. Conservation areas are also struggling with lockdown pressures.

What does Nature Conservation mean?

The definition of nature conservation is the care and protection of all of Earth’s natural resources. Often these resources are depleted because of human activity. Therefore, conservationists aim to find a balance between humanity and nature.

Nature conservation is most associated with the protection of endangered species, such as Tigers, Rhinos, and Orcas who are all struggling to survive because of habitat loss or hunting. Protecting these species is important as it maintains biodiversity within an ecosystem. Think of it as a game of Jenga, remove the wrong brick and the entire tower comes toppling down.

Bio diversity | How is coronavirus affecting nature conservation? | Pigments by Liv

Source: Global Issues

Maintaining biodiversity is why nature conservation is so important. For example, if sharks were to go extinct, populations of certain fish would be out of control so overeat the algae which provides our planet with A LOT of oxygen. We need oxygen to breathe, so we need the algae and therefore the sharks too. It’s all about balance.

How is coronavirus affecting nature conservation?

Now we understand why conservation is important, so how is coronavirus affecting biodiversity? Unfortunately, it’s not just one problem that we have to solve to help conservationists, but many. Having spoken to the environmental charities themselves as well as reading whatever I can find on the internet, conservationists are feeling the pressure from three different sides.

Increasing local pressure on Nature Reserves

People local to nature reserves often rely on them for lots of different resources, such as food, firewood, and in some instances, a financial income. The hardship caused by Coronavirus has meant these communities have become even more dependent on these reserves.

Tigers4Ever | Tiger Collection | Pigments by Liv

In the UK, we are lucky to have had Government support schemes to protect us financially. However, particularly in developing countries, these support schemes don’t exist. If people can’t work because of lockdown restrictions, they simply won’t get paid so cannot buy the things they need to survive. Hence the growing reliance on nature reserves.

With more people entering the reserves, the balance between humans and nature is unstable, putting both humans and animals at risk. To prevent the increasing danger, local governments have asked for environmental charities to increase their patrols to protect both beings, which of course costs money.

Travel restrictions mean no tourism

Nature reserves attract a lot of tourists each year, all hoping to catch a glimpse of a whale shark, elephant, or Bengal tiger. The WHO estimates that these travelers spend over $200bn in developing countries each year! This significant income, and therefore the jobs it generates, encourages these countries to protect their nature reserves.

Eco-tourism How is coronavirus affecting nature conservation? | Pigments by Liv
However, travel restrictions have had a massive impact on tourism. So, these eco-tourists aren’t spending their money in developing countries, meaning the nature reserves are no longer offering the financial incentives to the governments needed to protect them. Further increasing the pressure on environmental charities to support and protect them.

Increasing competition for shrinking donations

The extra support needed by the nature reserves to manage the growing reliance of local communities and outweigh the lack of tourism isn’t free. The environmental charities protecting the wildlife within these reserves are having to dig deeper into their pockets.
However, coronavirus has meant financial uncertainty and a loss of income for many. According to Opinium , half of UK adults haven’t supported a charity over lockdown, and 37% who have been giving to COVID-19 related funds.

Remember all that fundraising by virtual pub quizzes, face mask sales, and Tom walking laps of his garden? We donated millions of pounds to the NHS to help support all the amazing work they were doing. However, this meant environmental charities had to start competing with the NHS for funding during a pandemic. What’s more, the government gave emergency funding to social sector charities, but none for environmental charities.

Overall, coronavirus has caused the cost of protecting these nature reserves to increase but at the same time decreases the amount of funding available to the environmental charities wanting to protect them. It’s not good, so these charities need to cultivate new fundraising channels, for example partnering with sustainable brands.

New sources of funding for environmental charities

Opinium also found that 40% of people love buying an item to raise money for a charity, which is where we come in. 10% of profits raised by Pigments by Liv are donated to environmental charities each month. We’re inspired by nature to give back to nature.

By shopping with us, you can help the environmental charities conserve, support, and protect the planet’s nature reserves in these dark times.

INSPIRED BY NATURE TO GIVE BACK TO NATURE

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Baby Rhino Top | Pigments by Liv

Each Pigments by Liv collection raises money for an, specially chosen charity. Every charity is selected because of the amazing work they do as well as their connection to the story behind each collection’s design. All the environmental charities we support are UK registered charities, so you can be assured your donations are going directly to the animals you choose to support.

Click the charities below to shop for their relevant collection…

Environmental charities need our help more than ever, so let’s show them some love and shop now!

‘Til next time!

Liv

xxx

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