Our Covid-19 Coverage

Earth Island Journal was ahead of the curve when it came to reporting about the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent global pandemic and its many links with the environment. Here is a selection of our reporting on the issue.

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Fruits of the Desert

February 8, 2021 – In the desert town of Real de Catorce, Mexico, the pandemic has highlighted an urgent need for food sovereignty.

Natalia Torres Garzón Photographs by Antonio Cascio

Vast Coalition Calls on Biden to Impose National Moratorium on Water Shutoffs

January 14, 2021 – More than 600 environmental, rights and religious groups to present draft order amid widespread shutoffs despite pandemic.

Nina Lakhani The Guardian

The Lessons We Might Learn from Mosses

November 23, 2020 – In a year of quarantine and remote learning, my children and I have found solace in the mossy world of our backyard forest.

Rachel Sturges

Fishing for Sustainable Answers

November 9, 2020 – As Covid-19 pushes demand for seafood traceability, how might new technologies support sustainable fisheries? Four experts weigh in.

Marianne Messina

Madagascar’s Lemurs May Never Recover from Covid-19

October 30, 2020 – Cut off from tourism revenue, threats to East African nation’s biodiverse forests and endangered primates mount.

Malavika Vyawahare

Scant Improvement in Living Conditions At San Quentin

September 4, 2020 – Overcrowding continues to be a problem at California prison worst hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Angela Sevin

Double Exposure

September 1, 2020 – For centuries, the Quilombola people, descendants of escaped African slaves, have survived against insurmountable odds in the Amazon rainforest. Now industrial pollution and a pandemic are threatening their existence.

Cicero Pedrosa Neto Adriana Abreu Sam Schramski

Wildlife Conservation Suffers as Covid-19 Cuts Ecotourism Revenue in Kenya

August 17, 2020 – With visitor numbers down, Kenyan wildlife advocates need to consider alternative conservation funding streams.

Kari Mutu

Antarctic Researchers to Hitch Ride with Film Crew to Keep Longterm Study Going Amid Pandemic

August 10, 2020 – Scientists have been monitoring seals and whales on Marion Island for nearly 40 years. Until last week, they thought Covid-19 was going to break their dataset.

Petro Kotzé

Amid Pandemic, Malaysia Grants Timber Giant Logging Permit on Indigenous Land in Borneo

July 14, 2020 – Concession to extract timber from 148,000 hectares in upper Baram was granted despite repeated objections from local communities.

Fiona McAlpine

Making Home Gardening a Little Easier During the Pandemic

July 14, 2020 – West County DIGS is helping families offer their kids off-screen learning and enrichment by providing plant starts and gardening tips.

Graciella Rossi

Soaring Covid-19 Numbers at San Quentin Expose the Public Health Impact of Mass Incarceration

June 29, 2020 – Prisons and jails across the country are failing to adequately protect prisoners and staff from the pandemic.

Angela Sevin

Peas and Quiet: Urban Gardening in the Time of Covid-19

June 25, 2020 – Across the US, gardeners are producing food, building community, and finding some calm during this time of uncertainty.

Jonathan Shipley

‘Nature Is Trying to Tell Us Something’

June 17, 2020 – Physician and climate expert Aaron Bernstein talks about the Covid-19 pandemic and bridging the gap between medicine and the environment.

Zoe Loftus-Farren

Pandemic Sets Back Abalone Restoration Effort in California

June 16, 2020 – Mollusk researchers are pushing forward with their work as much as possible despite limitations.

Dominick Leskiw

How Wildlife Rescue Centers Are Coping with Covid-19

June 12, 2020 – For many animal rescuers and rehabilitators, the pandemic has brought a new set of challenges.

Miranda Altice

Why the Covid Gardening Boom is About More than Food

June 10, 2020 – With the disappearance of so much intimate encounter, the prospect of plunging our hands in the soil has gained extraordinary appeal.

Jennifer Atkinson

Covid-19 and Africa’s National Parks: ‘Utter and Total Devastation’ 

June 2, 2020 – Closed to tourists, pandemic is taking major toll on Virunga’s finances, local economy, as park reels from recent violence.

Sophie Neiman

Covid-19 Stalls Rescue of Albatross Chicks from Giant Mice

May 19, 2020 – Gough Island in South Atlantic is home to mutant rodents that feast on some 2 million young seabirds every year.

Mark Brown The Guardian

Wildlife Tourism Can Pose Disease Threat to Wild Animals

May 18, 2020 – Tourism is a powerful conservation tool, but when people get too close, it can also facilitate spread of dangerous pathogens.

Brianna Grant

BLM Planning Vast Overhaul of Greater Chaco Land Management Plan During Pandemic

May 14, 2020 – Online comment sessions render many voiceless against plan prioritizing fossil fuel production on federal and Native lands in New Mexico, opponents say.

Randall Hyman

Fenceline Communities and Green Groups Call for EPA to End ‘Free Pass’ for Polluters

May 8, 2020 – Agency’s current enforcement discretion policy undermines protection of environment and public health when we need it most, advocates say.

Fiona McLeod

The Shale Bubble is Bursting. Let It.

May 4, 2020 – Bail out people, not polluters.

Jennifer Krill

After the Pandemic, Let’s Relearn How to Really Connect

May 1, 2020 – I hope that when all this is over we will put our devices away when we are blessed again with social closeness.

Paul Keeling

US Pipeline Projects Move Forward Amid Covid-19 Crisis

April 30, 2020 – Environmental advocates call for nationwide moratorium on pipeline construction and approvals, citing threats to environment, vulnerable communities, and workers.

Fiona McLeod

Single-Use Plastics Are Not Safer

April 29, 2020 – The plastics industry is exploiting people’s fears of contracting Covid-19 to push its agenda.

Emily DiFrisco and Sandra Curtis

Watching Wildlife While Social Distancing

April 27, 2020 – Around the country, Covid-19 has shut down wildlife programs and nature walks. But on Cape Cod, marine mammals and shorebirds live on, and naturalists continue to observe.

Rachel Sturges

Coronavirus Complicates Fight against Desert Locust Invasion in East Africa

April 24, 2020 – Shutdowns could impede treatment and monitoring efforts, experts say, fueling further concern about food security in the region.

Sophie Neiman

Years that Ask Questions, Years that Answer Them

April 22, 2020 – In this year, we have learned beyond a doubt, what we never quite believed before — that we human beings are not in charge here.

Kathleen Dean Moore

Hit Hard by Covid-19, the Navajo Nation Finds ‘Strength in Sovereignty’

April 21, 2020 – The tribe’s resourceful efforts to protect its people might help the Navajo Nation avert the worst projected outcome of this pandemic.

Fiona McLeod

Born Out of Need, New Localized Food Networks are Emerging

April 16, 2020 – The Covid-19 crisis underscores the flaws in our broken multinational food system. It also offers a chance at devising solutions.

Audrey Mei Yi Brown

Coronavirus Pandemic Leaves Indigenous Lands in Borneo at Risk

April 14, 2020 – With in-person protests suspended amid shutdown, companies continue to destroy rainforest.

Fiona McAlpine

Why We Shouldn’t Push for a Closure of China’s ‘Wet Markets’ 

April 13, 2020 – We should focus instead on getting wild and exotic animals out of what are essentially the Eastern equivalent farmers markets.

Latoya Abulu

Looking Beyond Pangolins and Chinese ‘Wet Markets’ to a Culture of Racial Bias

April 13, 2020 – The spread of Covid-19 exposes, exacerbates, and weaponizes existing socioeconomic inequities.

Jeff Conant

Don’t Let Disaster Capitalism Dictate the US-Kenya Trade Agreement

April 10, 2020 – Trade policies written in the shadows while the public is distracted always have terrible consequences for working people and the planet.

Will Wiltschko

EPA’s Enforcement Shutdown During Pandemic Puts Americans At Risk

April 9, 2020 – Coupled with the agency’s deregulatory agenda, lack of monitoring and enforcement raises the risks faced by vulnerable communities living next to polluting industries.

Zoe Loftus-Farren

In Crisis, Learning from Ecologies of Care

April 8, 2020 – Transforming our relationship with nature can help us build the future we want as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gaurav Madan

The COVID-19 Stimulus Package Must Do More for Food System Workers and Families

April 6, 2020 – The stimulus doesn't go far enough to protect family-scale farmers, food workers, and local food businesses that have been hit hard by this crisis.

Chloe Waterman and Jason Davidson

Alberta Props Up Keystone XL Project With $7.5 Billion Cash Injection

April 3, 2020 – Cash promise for the controversial oil pipeline comes just days after province cut $100 million from public education citing a funds crunch due covid lockdowns.

Ron Johnson

We Need Our Tropical Forests More Than Ever

April 1, 2020 – Our violent disregard for biodiversity and our own part in the web of life has generated a perfect storm of global proportions.

Jeff Conant

Coronavirus Stimulus Plans Must Address Climate Crisis, Green Groups Say

March 24, 2020 – Economic relief is essential, but it shouldn't entrench fossil fuel dependence across the global economy.

Fiona Harvey The Guardian

Evangelical Group to Contact Indigenous Peoples in Amazon Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

March 18, 2020 – A fundamentalist Christian organization has purchased a helicopter with plans to visit and convert isolated groups in remote Brazilian rainforest.

Sue Branford

Oil Freefall Shows US Economy ‘Still Too Reliant’ on Fossil Fuels

March 18, 2020 – As coronoavirus pandemic shrinks demand for oil, experts say it's time to move towards alternatives.

Andy Rowell

Stopping the Coronavirus: Knowing how Viruses Adapt from Animals to Humans

February 5, 2020 – Due to continuing deforestation, bushmeat hunting, and caring for domestic animals, this will certainly not be the last deadly virus from wild animals to infect humans.

Frederick Cohan, Kathleen Sagarin, and Kelly Mei

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