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59. Record CO2 levels and temperatures in May 2020

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced, based on the report from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), that May 2020 was the warmest on record, 0.63°C above the May average temperature from 1981-2010. The average temperature in May was also 0.7°C above the average for the last 12 months, breaking the record for the warmest 12 months. Furthermore, the highest monthly CO2 concentration measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii was also recorded in May 2020.
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58. New Coronavirus Pandemic – The Great Reset

Like the Great Depression of 1929-1939 and the Great Recession of 2008-2010, the global economic crisis associated with COVID-19 is called the Great Lockdown. Now is the time to think of what history would say about this crisis, either “The Great Reversal” or “The Great Reset”. In a speech at the World Economic Forum, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), appealed the need for investments in a greener, smarter, and fairer world in the future.
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57. World Bank ― The Global Economic Prospects, June 2020

On June 2, 2020, the World Bank announced the excerpt of the analytical chapter from the Global Economic Prospects, June 2020 report before the release of the full edition on June 8. The COVID-19 is dealing a severe blow to the global economy, especially the emerging market and developing economies (EDMEs). The impact could have negative repercussions on the economy even after the worst medical crisis is over. To strengthen the future economy, policies that reflect the needs of creating new employment, business and governance systems in the post-pandemic era must be implemented.
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56. FAO・GAIN・Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World : Launching of the Food Systems Dashboard

On June 1, 2020, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World launched the Food Systems Dashboard, a new online tool designed to help decision makers in understanding food systems for good policymaking. The dashboard presents over 170 indicators from 35 data sources for food systems in more than 230 countries and territories, which can be used to compare and analyze the data to identify priority areas for dietary and nutritional improvement.
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55. Comprehensive Response to Build Resilience to Climate crisis and COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa

Africa is vulnerable to the effects of climate change as it is hit by COVID-19. In May 2020, the Global Center for Adaptation issued a policy brief titled “Integrated Responses to Building climate and pandemic resilience in Africa”. In order for Africa to attain a “triple dividend” of reduced pandemic risk, climate resilience and economic recovery, it is necessary to invest in food security, water management and infrastructure.
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54. Nature Communications - The Role of Big Data in Environmental Protection and Promotion of Sustainable Ddevelopment

On April 24, 2020, Nature Communications published a comment article on the role of big data in environmental conservation and promoting sustainable development. Big data reveals the harsh environment facing the environment, while at the same time revealing "bright spots". Big data analysis enables the collection of detailed evidence of rapid environmental changes, from recording the greening process of the earth to detecting illegal resource exploitation. Big data analysis needs to work in conjunction with environmental decision making to meet sustainable development challenges.
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53. The Lancet Planetary Health Correspondence - Climate Change and Heat-related Mortality

The heatstroke season is now beginning in Japan. A correspondence article published in The Lancet Planetary Health in May 2020 emphasized the need to understand the impact of climate and environmental change on human health, while mentioning that heat-related mortality may be underestimated. As severe environmental events become more common, correct reporting and attribution is needed to provide evidence to guide local, national and global response measures.
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52. New Coronavirus Pandemic and Food Supply Chain in Africa

Researchers at Michigan State University, who have made significant contributions to research on African development especially in the areas of agriculture and food, highlighted the importance of the Food Supply Chains (FSCs) in Africa. An average 80% of food consumed in Africa is purchased from FSCs, around 85% of the food supply in FSCs is handled by small and medium scale enterprises, and domestic FSCs supply accounts for 80-90% of the African food market.
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51. COVID-19 and Human Development Crisis

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) publishes every year the Human Development Index (HDI), a statistic composite index which combines life expectancy, education and per capita income indicators. On May 20, 2020, the UNDP warned about the potential decline in HDI this year for the first time in 30 years since the concept was introduced in 1990. The COVID-19 has caused a human development crisis that had not been experienced in the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-09 by damaging the three aspects of health, education and income.
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50. How Major Countries View COVID-19 and Climate Change

In April 2020, Ipsos MORI, a market research company in the United Kingdom released a survey on how the public in selected countries view the two major crisis, COVID-19 and climate change. Compared with other countries in the world, Japan regarded climate change as a serious crisis equivalent to COVID-19 and as a policy priority, and perceived that economic recovery by COVID-19 should not have a negative impact on the environment. In turn, Japan seems less interested in making climate change as political agendas.
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49. Nature Climate Change Paper: Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement

A scientific paper entitled “Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement” was published in Nature Climate Change on May 19, 2020. The authors compiled government policies and activity data to estimate the decrease in CO2 emissions during forced confinements due to COVID-19. It was estimated that daily global CO2 emissions decreased by -17% by April 2020 compared to the 2019 levels, about half of which was attributed to changes in surface transport. It was concluded that post-crisis government actions and economic incentives would shape the direction of global carbon emissions over the coming decades.
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47. United Nations: Statistical Perspective on How COVID-19 is Changing the World

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside downaffecting every aspect of people's way of life including how they live, how they work and communicate, and how they move. Decisions made over the next few months could affect generations, and governments need to make informed decisions. The the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA), consisting of 36 UN agencies and international organizations, released a report entitled “How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective”, highlighting COVID-19's economic and social impacts and regional trends that were not anticipated only a few months ago.
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46. International Day for Biological Diversity

The International Day for Biological Diversity is designated by the United Nations to promote awareness and the issues related to the loss of biodiversity. It is currently observed on May 22 every year. For 2020, the theme is “our solutions are in nature”. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the international community faces the opportunity to reassess its relationship with the natural world. The year 2020 is also the final year of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity and the 2011-2020 United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.
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45. The Impact of COVID-19 on Fisheries and Aquaculture

Since the fisheries industry relies heavily on international trade, regulations and restrictions on movement and distribution taken as a countermeasure against the pandemic of the new coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) have caused a sharp chill in the seafood market. The seafood value chain is at risk due to declining consumer demand. Due to lack of supplies, it is still difficult to secure an appropriate working environment to prevent COVID-19 infection. Under such circumstances, the movement of the fisheries industry is beginning to take place in anticipation of the post-pandemic, including the construction of a new direct sales system.
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44. World Economic Forum: COVID-19 Risk Outlook 2020-05-20

The World Economic Forum publishes a Global Risk Report each year that reflects the views of global leaders and policy makers. In the 2020 report published earlier this year, all of the top five perceived risks were related to environmental issues and climate change for the first time since the report's investigation began in 2007. On May 19, 2020, the team behind the annual Global Risks Report summarized the risks, challenges and opportunities of the pandemic, to guide better decision making and discussions. As a result of a survey of the views of about 350 senior risk professionals, four important issues have emerged, namely, economic shift, recession for sustainability, social unrest, and technology dependence.
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43. FAO: Addressing the Impacts of COVID-19 in Food Crises

On May 18, 2020, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published the report “Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in food crises April–December 2020”, urging the need for emergency assistance by the international community, and emphasizing that prevention of the food crisis could not wait for the resolution of the health crisis, and instead, precautionary measures to protect lives and improve access to food would be necessary.
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42. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP): Environmental Destruction and Zoonotic Diseases

While the COVID-19 pandemic is currently out of control, a report released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 2016 mentioned zoonotic diseases or zoonoses as one of the emerging environmental challenges.The emergence of zoonotic diseases is associated with human-induced environmental changes and disturbances of the ecosystem, and they opportunistically affect the host under environmental, social, and economic stress. About 75% of all emerging infectious diseases and 60% of human infectious diseases are zoonotic. Among these diseases, Ebola, bird flu, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Rift Valley fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile virus, Zika virus, etc. have brought huge economic cost. Countermeasures against zoonotic diseases require the healthy ecosystems that maintain diverse species, and strengthen the framework for policy coordination across the three sectors of environment, agriculture and health.
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41. Global Supply Chain of Fruits and Vegetables Under Lockdown

The spread of COVID-19 is creating a shortage of imported fruits in Japan. Normally, 40% of international cargo including fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables and high value-added agricultural products are transported in an efficient global supply chain utilizing the airline networks spread all over the world. Logistics experts say that the increase in freight costs accompanying the reduction in passenger flights makes international transportation of fruits and vegetables expensive, and producers in emerging countries could be hit when the global rationalization of choice occurs in the "new normal" in the post-COVID-19 era.
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40. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ー COVID-19 Response Targeting African Agriculture and the Rural Poor

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major blow to African agriculture and farmers. On May 14, 2020, special envoys of the International Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD), Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, published a blog entitled “COVID-19 response must target African agriculture and the rural poor".
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39. 2020 Global Nutrition Report: Action on equity to end malnutrition

The 2020 Global Nutrition Report was released on May 12, 2020 during the time COVID-19 continues to spread around the world. The subtitle of this year's report highlights the impact of inequity in ending all forms of malnutrition, noting that currently, 1 in 9 people are undernourished and 1 in 3 people are overweight. The report was written before the COVID-19 crisis but the pandemic was also mentioned in the foreword in the context that good nutrition is a very important element of defense against COVID-19, thereby calling on governments, businesses and civil society to step up efforts to address all forms of malnutrition.