In a matter of months, the world has been transformed, thousands of people have already died and hundreds more have fallen ill from corona virus that was previously unknown before appearing in a city in China. For millions, who have not even caught the disease, their entire way of life has been changed by it.

Amara has not been spared either, our work in the field came to a halt as the learning institutions were closed in the middle of March, as much of the world came to a complete standstill. Worldwide, flights were cancelled. Bustling pubs, malls and theatres have been closed and people asked to practice social distancing.

It is all aimed at controlling the spread of the disease and reducing the death toll. Our staff at Amara are all working from home separately. Our work in the field is vital to communities especially now, as natural ecosystems in and outside protected areas are at risk during this pandemic period. Rangers and game scouts who normally patrol the Parks, conservancies, and marine conservation zones are required to stay at home or laid off due to financial problems and this is leaving these areas unmonitored. Their absence has resulted in a rise of illegal deforestation, fishing and wildlife hunting. But with the knowledge of the importance of natural resources, communities can turn into to protectors rather than poachers, and stop the vice.

In addition, as ecotourism is the major economic income in many destinations, rising unemployment caused by the crisis may lead many households to harvest resources from fragile ecosystems as they seek alternative means to provide for their families and hence the importance of our work to communities in and around protected areas.

Many of the environmental challenges caused by the corona virus will gradually resolve on their own once the crisis comes to an end.