A UN human rights and environment rapporteur said that 70% of emerging infectious diseases such as Covid-19 are transmitted from wildlife to people, calling for measures to be taken to protect the environment and human rights. David Boyd added, on the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day, on Friday: “Countries must take urgent measures to protect the environment, stop climate disruption, loss of biodiversity, toxic pollution and diseases transmitted from animals to humans.” For his part, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Nature sends a clear message to us. We harm the world of nature, and we will pay the price for that.” Guterres added that the loss of biodiversity is accelerating. Climate disorder is exacerbating. Although key events have been postponed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, “it is critical that we maintain the momentum towards a green and sustainable future that allows us to live in harmony with nature for present and future generations,” according to General Assembly President Tijani Mohamed Pandey. Pandey added that, as the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted global food supplies and livelihoods, there is a key opportunity to ensure sustainable natural resource management and the protection of biodiversity in our efforts to “rebuild better”. This was also urged by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), especially as countries start to open their doors again, and governments endorse stimulus packages to support job creation, reduce poverty and develop and grow the economy. This involves seizing green investment opportunities – such as renewable energy, smart housing, green public procurement, and public transportation – guided by the principles and standards of sustainable production and consumption. UNEP warns that failure to do so and trying to return to work as usual may lead to increased inequalities and exacerbate the degradation of the planet, at a time when a million species of animals and plants are on the verge of extinction.