The global COVID-19 (or coronavirus) pandemic is an unprecedented health crisis in humanity’s recent history with social and economic effects rippling across the globe. Although the Pacific has a lower number of cases relative to the rest of the world, knock-on economic effects from border closures, restrictions in movement, and market contractions have impacted all segments of society. Experience from previous natural disasters and economic disruptions has shown us we are going to see an increased pressure on natural resources, as countries look for opportunities for economic recovery. As habitat loss and degradation, wildlife trade and poor animal husbandry practices continue, the likelihood of human-wildlife interactions and the probability of new zoonotic diseases emerging is projected to increase. The effects of COVID-19 on Pacific Island countries and territories have been extremely varied; six have had to manage viral infections while others are so far managing to keep the virus entirely from their shores. The national responses to the crisis have many potential implications for urban, peri-urban and rural communities, but these need better understanding if international and government responses are to be most effective, assisting those that are most vulnerable. Just as the response to the pandemic has to be based on good science, so must the path to recovery. The Wildlife Conservation Society and partners such as the Locally Managed Marine Area network are undertaking research to document the impact COVID-19 is having on coastal communities, including those in the fisheries sector. Data is being collected across ethnic groups, and are examined through a gender lens. The results of this research are openly shared with government and its partners, to contribute to dialogue, policy, and conservation and development practice.



COVID-19 Impact on fishing and coastal communities: Fiji [download]

COVID-19 Impact on Indo-Fijians in coastal fisheries sector [download]



Mangubhai S, Nand Y, Reddy C, Jagadish A (2021) Politics of vulnerability: Impacts off COVID-19 and Cyclone Harold on Indo-Fijians engaged in small-scale fisheries. Environmental Science and Policy. 120: 195−203.

Bates AE, Mangubhai S, Milanes CB, Rodgers K, Vergara V (2021) The COVID-19 pandemic reveals opportunities to transform biological conservation. Nature Communications. 12: 5176.

Walters G, Broome NP, Cracco M, Dash T, Dudley N, Elias S, Hymas O, Mangubhai S, Mohan V, Niederberger T, Kema CANK, Lio AO, Raveloson N, Rubis J, Toviehou SARM, Van Vliet N (2021) COVID-19, Indigenous peoples, local communities and natural resource governance. PARKS. 27: 57−62. 

Phua C, Andradi-Brown DA, Mangubhai S, Ahmadia GN, Mahajan S, Larsen K, Friel S, Reichelt R, Hockings M, Gill D, Veverka L, Anderson R, Augustave LC, Awaludinnoer, Bervoets T, Brayne K, Djohani R, Kawaka J, Kyne F, Ndagala J, Oates J, Osuka K, Prvan M, Shah N, Vallorola F, Wenzel L, Widodo H, Wells S (2021) Marine protected and conserved areas in the time of COVID. PARKS. 27: 85−102.

Bennett NJ, Finkbeiner EM, Ban NC, Belhabib D, Jupiter SD, Kittinger JN, Mangubhai S, Scholtens J, Gill D, Christie P (2020) The COVID-19 pandemic, small-scale fisheries and coastal fishing communities. Coastal Management. 48(4): 336347.

Evans T, Olson S, Watson J, Gruetzmacher K, Pruvot M, Jupiter S, Wang S, Clements T, Jung K (2020) Links between ecological integrity, emerging infectious diseases originating from wildlife, and other aspects of human health – an overview of the literature. Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.34736.51205.


Jenkins A, Jupiter SD, Capon A, Horwitz P, Negin J (2020) Nested ecology and emergence in pandemics. The Lancet Planetary Health 4:e303. DOI: [download]


 One health: Healthy Environment=Healthy humans by Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP),     speaker Wildlife Conservation Society, Melanesia Regional Program Director, Dr. Stacy Jupiter. [video] [presentation]



 Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji Country Program Director, Dr. Sangeeta Mangubhai, speaks about the impact of   COVID-19 pandemic on Fijian communities, environment, the importance of natural resource management and the way   forward resetting Fiji on Mai TV's Episode 3 of Reset Fiji, [watch