Every crisis, calamity or in this case pandemic affects primarily human beings. However, the environment where we live also receives an impact due to these events and to the measures taken by the governments of the world.
Global orders for social isolation to combat the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in a climate benefit , since as reported by European countries and even China, this measure has caused cleaner air to be breathed, a situation that is also visible in Dominican Republic, where you can also see a noticeable decrease in noise pollution.
However, the same pandemic that has caused thousands of deaths and infections worldwide has brought negative consequences in terms of the amount of waste and its forms of collection, as well as a situation that has been occurring in the country: neglect of authorities in the face of forest clearing and other illegal activities that harm the environment.
In an extensive interview with Listín Diario, the biologist, university professor, researcher and environmental consultant Sixto J. Inchustegui offers us his perspective on the current situation and the impact on the environment, as well as the positive and negative effects both in the world and in the country.
“We are in the world of information and misinformation because unfortunately there are many people with good intentions, while others are not and they are dedicated to spreading, not only now in the coronavirus crisis but also before, false or incorrect news, then In this sense, some videos have been circulated as dolphins in the canals of Venice. So that is a starting point to cover this topic, "explains Don Sixto.
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE IMPACT
To understand what is happening, the also former director of the UASD School of Biology puts the focus in the first instance on the great urban centers of the world and comments on how these have had an "almost radical" decrease in dependent transport, aspect that has reduced the burning of fossil fuels.
To this, he adds that measures such as the work stoppage have led to the closure of many industries that are also managed based on fossil fuels, which caused a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, which "may result in a benefit to the atmosphere".
Among these benefits, he mentions that the most immediate impacts on the environment have been the reduction of noise and air pollution.
“Pollution by gases and solid particles dispersed in the air is seen immediately. There are popular photos or videos of regions or cities where it is seen, unlike these days or weeks where there has been almost no or very little movement of vehicles. ”
Another aspect that stands out is that, given the isolation measures, household waste is likely to be reduced and this in turn reduces the generation of domestic wastewater “therefore, in both directions (pollution and generation of waste) there is an impact that can be perceived in a relatively short time ”.
However, the biologist takes a moment to think and comments that this benefit will depend on how much time elapses: "We would have to see data, but I think it depends on how long this lasts, because two to three weeks or months can have a impact, but not one on a large scale. "
For Inchustegui, it is still too early to talk about long-term benefits for the environment since the time elapsed does not recompose the damage done to it for years.
In this sense, it refers to climate change and its effects that have been caused to a great extent by greenhouse gases and that mitigating these damages would take years.
"As has been said everywhere, part of the crisis of climate change is that the impact of greenhouse gases is already in the atmosphere and is expected to last at least 100 years. So mitigating the impact of greenhouse gases and climate change and its consequences is something on a very large scale and we are not yet making a greater positive impact, "he says, while making the observation that" hopefully we are not going to last so long in this crisis that it could have a negative impact in that direction. ”
When he mentions the hypothetical possibility that this pandemic could continue, he moves to the country and talks about how this situation could turn into an internal crisis that would affect forests and biodiversity.
The fall of pollution, one of the effects on wildlife
Amid the restrictive measures to face the advance of the pandemic, cougars, foxes, dolphins, marsupials and shorebirds have been seen on the beaches and in Latin American cities.
Biologists assure that this fauna has always lived very close to urban areas but, in the absence of humans, they are encouraged to explore new areas. Keeping the distance and not giving them food are some of the recommendations while enjoying the spectacle that nature offers.
The COVID pandemic has led many governments around the world to take harsh measures to restrict the mobility of its inhabitants and enact extreme measures such as compulsory preventive isolation.
In the midst of this scenario, animals such as cougars, foxes, opossums, wild boars, monkeys, ducks, and turkeys have been seen on the streets of various cities. The same has happened with seabirds, dolphins and sea lions on tourist beaches. All this natural spectacle is available on social networks, where photos and videos circulate showing "the return of fauna to the places that humans took from them", as read in various publications.
Those animals have always lived very close to the cities and that they are now seen wandering the streets is due to their drive to explore other places that were previously dominated by noise and movement. However, in the midst of all those images that have filled many with hope, there are also false, old or decontextualized photographs circulating, such as those of dolphins and swans in Venice or elephants in tea fields in India and China.
Mongabay Latam spoke to three experts about the truths and lies of animals that venture into cities.
Animals cautiously enter cities
Ducks, turkeys and wild boars have been seen on the streets of Madrid, Spain - the latter in January this year - taking advantage of the solitude of some streets to travel more freely. The ABC newspaper reported, during the current isolation that the Spanish capital is experiencing, several ducks on Fuente del Berro street and in the garden near the Archaeological Museum in Madrid. The birds move from the places where they usually live in search of food, "because when Madrid residents are forced to seclude themselves, the food remains generated have fallen dramatically, leaving the animals without sustenance," the newspaper says.
But this phenomenon is not only from countries like Spain and Italy that have some of the highest COVID-19 transmission rates in the world. One of the sightings that has surprised the most in Latin America is that of a cougar ( Puma concolor ) in Santiago de Chile. While these big cats could eventually be seen in outlying neighborhoods, the city's curfew has allowed the animal to be seen on more central streets.
The last report was given in the Ñuñoa commune. The event was attended by the Police, the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) and the National Zoo and, according to reports, the cougar came down from one of the hills near Santiago in search of food. The one-year-old animal weighing 35 kilos was captured and taken to the zoo where they performed tests.
A great moral of all this, is that in the end the humans are the ones who cause the most damage to planet earth, and that only by giving the earth a little time we can see how it can quickly recover from all the damage we do to it.the humans because of our greed and selfishness.
So I hope that when all this happens people will learn to value our planet more and how beautiful it can be if you see it the right way.
thanks for read and i hope you like it.
this is a translation made by myself , the source where i take the info to make this post is bellow.