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Opportunities to respond and build back better while leaving no one behind in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Articulating social and environmental policy for post-COVID-19 recovery

POLICY BRIEF

Environmental considerations can be integrated in the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
This document presents feasible examples and policy tools that integrate and complement social protection goals with environmental sustainability.

In fact, the relationship between poverty and environment has been recognized by the Forum of Ministers of Environment of the region. Its latest Declaration (Buenos Aires, 2018) reaffirmed its contribution to integrate the environmental dimension in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, therefore, to reduce poverty and inequality.

The increasing pressure on land and natural resources, and the consequent degradation of the environment, along with the impacts of climate change, have severe economic and social repercussions for the poor (UNDP/UNEP, 2017) and can impede the sustainability of the response and recovery actions related to the COVID-19 crisis in the medium and long terms. Social protection is a fundamental mechanism to contribute to the full realization of social rights and, therefore, has been recognized as an essential instrument to accelerate the progress towards the SDGs and, in the case of the COVID crisis, is being used by governments as a basic response and recovery mechanism to reach the most vulnerable.