Main content

Plundering the planet under cover of coronavirus

The animals and forests being used for survival and profit in the pandemic's shadow.

Some thought Covid-19 would give our planet a breather while many of our movements and industries were restricted, but there are worrying signs that in some parts of the world exactly the opposite is happening.

Emily Thomas finds out how the pandemic has left many people hungry, desperate, and turning to rainforests and wild animals to feed themselves, whilst for others there's growing evidence the virus could be providing cover to make profit at the planet’s expense.

We hear allegations of illegal slashing and burning of an Indonesian rainforest to make way for a palm oil plantation and ask Nestle, the world’s biggest food company, what it’s doing to make sure its products are deforestation free. The head of the UN’s Environment Programme explains why it’s more vital than ever for countries to put environmental protection at the heart of their economic recovery plans, and a conservation worker in Kenya shares fears that decades of animal and environmental preservation work is in danger of being undone.

Michael O'Brien-Onyeka, senior vice president for the Africa field division at Conservation International;
Farwiza Farhan, founder of HAkA;
Benjamin Ware, head of responsible sourcing, Nestlé;
Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme

(Picture: Giraffe at Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Mon 5 Oct 2020 00:32GMT


  • Thu 1 Oct 2020 10:32GMT
  • Thu 1 Oct 2020 15:32GMT
  • Thu 1 Oct 2020 21:32GMT
  • Thu 1 Oct 2020 22:32GMT
  • Sun 4 Oct 2020 07:32GMT
  • Mon 5 Oct 2020 00:32GMT

Food Chain highlights

Food Chain highlights

Tea, coffee, spices, chillies ... snack on a selection of programme highlights