By Peter Cox, Managing Director, Carrig Conservation International Ltd.
During these strange times it is easy to lose sight of issues which are still of the utmost importance, even if they may not be as urgent as the current crisis. Of course the fight against Covid-19 must be the priority but as doing what is necessary right now leaves many of us with more free time than we once had, let’s use that time to reflect and consider what we can do when things start getting back to a new normal. Today is Earth Day and one can't help but wonder what the current circumstances mean for our environment and whether our behaviour will change towards it.
International tourism is not going to come back anytime soon as airlines have cut 80% of their capacity and many will go out of business so air travel will be different. This could be an opportunity to push our cultural heritage as an economic and tourism driver. Once the current restrictions are lifted, everyone will be looking to travel where they can. Let’s start a campaign to encourage our own nations to visit national cultural heritage sites which will drive economies in local communities and restart a local tourism industry which will be more sustainable in the short to medium term
Let’s invest in cultural heritage sites across the nation improving the construction and traditional skills sector and getting people back to work.
The current restrictions have shown how much of an impact we can have in the fight against climate change – city dwellers around the world are seeing their air quality improve before their eyes! With the vast reduction in travel, carbon dioxide emissions have reduced so let’s keep on this trajectory and reduce our greenhouse gases, especially when we re-start our industries. This period has certainly proved that if we care enough about something, we can and will work hard achieve our goals. Happy Earth Day, everyone.