Survey on public engagement with forests post-COVID-19 in AFoCO member countries

17 Sep 2021

COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in early 2020. Countries around the world have adopted safety precautions and imposed various restrictions to contain the virus. These measures include social distancing, travel restrictions, and unconventional ways of operating schools and offices. As of 16 September 2021, the virus has claimed more than 4 million lives and 226 million infected cases globally (WHO).  The virus has not only risked lives but also impacted the economic, social, and physiological well-being of people all over the world.

From March 2020 till now, the new normal has altered the lives of people in many ways and studies conducted in different parts of the world reveal that people have actually started appreciating nature and are observed to spend more time in local parks and woodlands/forests.  It is believed that nature parks, urban forests, and even green areas provide aesthetic beauty as well as recreational value for the wellbeing of the mind and body. Nature plays a vital role in sustaining lives through the provision of various ecosystem services such as fresh air, water, food, etc.

AFoCO is initiating an online multi-language* survey to explore how forests and nature have altered or impacted the lives of people in Asia during the pandemic, with a focus on the member countries of AFoCO.

*The survey is available in eight languages — English, Indonesian, Khmer, Korean, Kazakh, Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese.