Razan for Sustainability Times: “Covid-19 has battered conservation work, but we can still succeed”

For more than a decade, scientists like Luis Ortiz-Catedral have been working to protect the Galápagos pink land iguana (Conolophus marthae). The species faces a range of threats including feral cats and rats, which prey on eggs and young reptiles. Their scientists' work, however, came to an halt in April when the COVID-19 lockdown in Ecuador went into effect.

“The travel restrictions and physical distancing measures meant that critical predator control work could not be completed as per calendar activities planned months ago,” Mr. Ortiz-Catedral said. “It may resume in the coming months, but it is unlikely to have the same effect after a multi-month gap.”

The uncertain future of the pink land iguana is just one of the many alarming stories of the pandemic's impact uncovered by a survey conducted by Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund), where Razan Al Mubarak serves as Founding Managing Director. 

In an op-ed published in Sustainability Times, Ms. Al Mubarak looks at how the pandemic has impacted the conservation sector and proposes a plan of action for ensuring a sustainable recovery. 

Read Razan Al Mubarak's op-ed “Covid-19 has battered conservation work, but we can still succeed” in Sustainability Times.

Razan for AZA Connect: a COVID-19 recovery strategy for the world's zoos and aquariums

In 2019, facilities accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) donated more than $231.5 million to conservation programs globally. But in the United States alone, its zoos, aquariums, and museums are losing $33 million daily due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In an op-ed written for Connect, the publication of the AZA, Razan Al Mubarak highlights that “zoos and aquariums are in especially challenging financial straits, as they continue to take on all the costs of supporting the animals in their care — from the largest elephant to the tiny Polynesian tree snail — without any of the income from visitors.”

Razan Al Mubarak lays out her goals for a “nature recovery plan” that will provide the conservation sector, including zoos and aquariums, with the support and funding needed to ensure the care, conservation and study of endangered and threatened species.

Read Razan's op-ed “Conservation in the Age of COVID-19” on AZA's Connect