How did deforestation lead to the rise of COVID-19?

GLF Live with Musonda Mumba, Robert Nasi and Annika Terrana

See the full GLF Live series here.

In this GLF Live, Musonda Mumba, chief of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Unit of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), spoke with Robert Nasi, director general of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and Annika Terrana, a technical expert on forests for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) about the relationship between deforestation and the spread of disease.

GLF Live with Robert Nasi and Annika Terrana
Deforestation, COVID-19 and the spread of disease

Robert Nasi graduated as a forest engineer from the French National Forestry School and achieved a PhD in the field of ecology from the University of Paris Sud – Orsay. Since 1982, he has been living and traveling extensively in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, undertaking research activities in the fields of ecology and management of tropical forests. He joined CIFOR in August 1999 and held several research and management positions in the organization (principal scientist, biodiversity program leader, program director). He is, since 1 November 2017, the director general of CIFOR, and since 1 January 2014, the deputy director general for research.

Annika Terrana specializes in the global market and trade of forest products, with experience in mechanisms for demonstrating responsible environmental and social practices within deforestation-driving supply chains. In her current role, Annika advises standards for forest management to ensure their effectiveness in supporting healthy forests and acts as a technical expert for WWF on various aspects including improved forest governance, participatory forest management, and the co-benefits that come with healthy, resilient ecosystems.

Before joining WWF, Annika managed membership engagement with the Forest Stewardship Council-US and directed operations for Organic Health Response, a non-profit organization that supports local communities in Lake Victoria to reclaim and reshape the relationship between local deforestation, overfishing, and community health. While with OHR, Annika supported a holistic, local response to the impacts of HIV/AIDS, integrating the local gazettement of old growth forest and reforestation efforts to disrupt harmful feedback loops and alleviate erosion. Annika has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in History and Environmental Studies.

Musonda Mumba is the Chief of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Unit since 1 June 2018. She joined UN Environment in October 2008, as a programme officer in Climate Change Adaptation Unit based in Nairobi, requested to lead the work on the development of the Global Adaptation Network (GAN) and also develop new proposals for the unit. She eventually secured resources to lead and coordinate the Ecosystems based Adaptation (EbA) Mountain Programme, a programmatic alliance with UN Environment, IUCN and UNDP (2011 – 2016) working in Peru, Nepal and Uganda. She has also been UN Environment’s focal point on Mountains. She has over 20 years experience working at both scientific and political levels on climate change adaptation, conservation, protected areas management and wetlands ecology. And before working for UN Environment, Musonda worked for the Zambian Government, Ramsar Convention, WWF (at International, UK and East Africa Regional Offices). Her professional experience led her to work with several governments across the world cutting across Africa, Asia and Latin America.



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