Year in Review: 2020

2020 has been a year of marked change: an opportunity to reassess our collective relationship with our natural environment, and our individual relationships with each other. Soon after devastating bushfires burned through an estimated 17 million hectares of Australian landscape, the world was brought to a halt by a coronavirus – COVID-19. In my 2019 Director’s report, I wrote that the 2020 fires were “a tough and sobering way to end 2019, and to welcome 2020.” It seems that this was merely the beginning of a long lesson in resilience.

To that end, it is remarkable though not surprising that Australians have come together, as we always do, to reduce the health risks associated with COVID-19. But there remains much to do: economic recovery; water and food security; a socially just climate adaptation transition; and, critically, ongoing work to ensure that those communities most affected by the 2019–20 fires are not forgotten and receive the support they need. To this end, sustainable development remains a vitally important mechanism in responding to all of these opportunities. The importance of seizing this moment cannot be overstated: societies are now facing a critical juncture—will it be back to business as usual, or will we choose to take the path of innovation, renewal and change? Here at Future Earth Australia, we continue our efforts to support and drive the latter. Our members are critical partners with us as we work to secure long-term societal change by embedding sustainability practices in all that we do.

Download the full Year in Review to learn more about FEA's accomplishments in 2020.