Potential impacts of COVID-19 on tropical forest recovery

Potential impacts of COVID-19 on tropical forest recovery


Ecosystem Restoration is one of the goals of several organizations including the UN.  COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainties in achieving these goals as focus has shifted to the health sector and rebuilding the economy. Two, UN critical meetings have been delayed; platforms for governments to publicly participate in tracking restoration progress and making new commitments. Other environmental changes have also been noted including wildlife’s response to the sudden absence of humans and improved air quality in many major cities. 


The authors state that, the pandemic has both negative impacts and positive short- term impacts on the environment requiring a concerted collective effort from different stakeholders in restoring degraded habitats.  Economic impacts have been predicted to have the greatest influence. The society’s reaction on the pandemic can create a new restoration path. The authors further indicate that there is a need for conservationists to pressure governments to strengthen conservation efforts. Planned restoration programs should be carried out coupled with post covid economic recovery initiatives.


Zahawi RA, J. Reid L, Fagan ME. Potential impacts of COVID‐19 on tropical forest recovery. Biotropica. 2020;52(5):803 - 807. doi:10.1111/btp.12851.


  • Lyon Arboretum, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, USA
  • School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA