The theme for the 5th Karachi International Water Conference is Climate Change and Pandemic: Impact on Water

It is too early to tell yet that climate change is influencing the spread of COVID-19, however, it is evident that climate change alters the relationship of all species on Earth which has a direct impact on human health and risk for infections.

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc in countries across the world, causing a global health crisis and forcing economies to slow down due to the strict quarantine measures. However, the outbreak has also impacted the environment in an intriguing way. A reduction in CO2 emissions and human mobility has improved air quality, although it is questionable in terms of whether this will lead to a positive impact in the long term.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has highlighted the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in protecting human health. It is important to understand the role SDG 6 played in the management of the COVID-19 outbreak, how progress has been impacted, and what actions are required to accelerate SDG 6 progress in a COVID-19 context.

In the long term, the COVID-19 pandemic will offer lessons and opportunities leading to environmental action. For instance, we will have a new baseline of what can be achieved digitally: remote work, education, shopping, and more. In addition, as our governments, private institutions, and even social media succeed in partnering, we will possibly feel more capable of tackling other pressing issues such as climate change. Our response to this health crisis will shape how we will deal with a climate crisis in the next decades.

The sub-themes for the conference webinar series are as follows: