When natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything they need for the ecology to remain in balance, it leads to sustainability. Sustainability looks to protect our natural environment, human and ecological health while continuing to allow us to innovate so that we may not compromise on our way of life. However, COVID19 has changed how we work, learn, live! It has been a great leveller, affecting people without any discrimination. It has made us compromise, adapt and deal with sudden dramatic changes and has compelled us to adopt self-sustainability in order to achieve results and cultivate continuous growth.
The pandemic is offering a glimpse into the sustainability revolution awaiting us in the near future. Self-sustainability initiatives will bail us and our environment out of this situation. Self-sustainability and self –sufficiency are overlapping yet consequential; people need little or no interaction with others in person. Therefore distancing themselves socially will on one hand help in controlling the spread of coronavirus and on the other hand will not curb growth avenues as well.
COVID19 has produced a sharp rise in unemployment; leading to the about collapse of the hotel and tourism industries, creating a stress on the supply chain , from farmers to entrepreneurs, everyone is bearing the brunt! Adopting technology and utilizing digitalization interventions across the value chain will again, cut down close interactions but at the same time, keep the work going on. Less travel also will also result in lower levels of pollution, thereby allowing our environment to breathe and heal. Now, this is vital not just for self- sustaining but also to contribute to the economy, the world as a whole. Recognising talents and creating a virtual network will help in equal distribution of work and will be an outreach programme for all, thereby creating a self-sustainable, financially independent, progressive society.
Taking the current scenario into account, it may be rightly said that one very important aspect of life has been vividly highlighted; that being, the importance of community resilience! This includes sustainable local food systems. It is time we grew and consume locally. Building self-sustainable local food systems will not only support local farmers to earn a living wage but will also result in ensuring that agricultural lands are protected. Prioritizing land use for sustainable agricultural production and preservation is the need of the hour. This will also embalm Mother Nature.
This year, as we celebrate World Environment Day on June 5,2020, we pledge to not only protect our environment and the species existing in it but to also become ‘givers’ to the environment, thereby establishing a balanced ecosystem and adopting self-sustainable methods to enhance growth.