Most nations failing to protect nature in COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans

Most nations failing to protect nature in COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans
The financial district of New York City as seen from Liberty State Park in New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Pamela McElwee

The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.


Indeed, some countries, including the United States, Brazil and Australia, are back-tracking on existing laws and relaxing regulations and enforcement actions aimed at protecting nature, according to lead author Pamela McElwee, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“Just last week at the United Nations, more than 60 heads of state spoke at a virtual summit and pledged their support to tackle the biodiversity crisis. But when we look at what countries are doing, either in

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Mobile Games Thrive, Even As Pandemic Keeps Players Home

Mobile games are thriving as players turn to them for fun and friendship during the pandemic, with increasing numbers of women joining the trend.

“Being stuck at home has not stopped people from playing games on their phones,” said SensorTower mobile insights strategist Craig Chapple. “To the contrary, mobile gaming is more popular than ever.”

Smartphone game play involves taps on touchscreens with just a few moments of play at a time, often while sipping coffee or waiting for transit, in contrast to the console games with immersive worlds that can span hours.

Mobile games appeal to a broader demographic than do shooters and other genres popular on console or PC gamers.

More than 40 percent of mobile gamers are women, according to research firms Newzoo and Statista. That differs from gamers using consoles or personal computers, who are more likely to be males age 12 to 35 years old,

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Technology is helping global communities recover during the pandemic

  • Businesses, universities, and communities around the world are innovating with digital technologies — including social media, mobile apps, analytics, and cloud computing — to cope with the pandemic. 
  • Yolande E. Chan, Arman Sadreddin, and Suchit Ahuja, researchers in business technology management, found many organizations are incorporating digital technologies into phases of their crisis management plans.
  • From identifying potential threats to containing crises, these technologies rely on community participation and infrastructure to helping global populations operate safely during this time.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amid the horrific public health and economic fallout from a fast-moving pandemic, a more positive phenomenon is playing out: COVID-19 has provided opportunities to businesses, universities, and communities to become hothouses of innovation.

Around the world, digital technologies are driving high-impact interventions. Community and public health leaders are handling time-sensitive tasks and meeting pressing needs with technologies that are affordable and inclusive, and don’t

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AI Adoption Accelerates during COVID-19 Pandemic; 68% of US Businesses Increased Investment in AI Technologies

Highlights

  • Use of AI technologies reached 81%, up 33 percentage points since 2018

  • AI investment and adoption accelerated during COVID-19 pandemic

  • 86% of survey respondents believe that ethical considerations are a strategic priority in the design and implementation of their AI systems

  • AI is more likely to be used to increase efficiencies and worker productivity than to replace labor

  • US competitiveness in AI on the world stage remains a concern

The adoption of new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and further investment in existing AI technologies accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study released today by RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The study also reveals that overall implementation of AI technologies across the business landscape increased for the third consecutive year.

The 2020 RELX Emerging Tech Executive Report marks the third edition of the survey and provides a three-year

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RELX Survey: AI Adoption Accelerates during COVID-19 Pandemic; 68% of US Businesses Increased Investment in AI Technologies – Press Release

NEW YORK–(Business Wire)–The adoption of new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and further investment in existing AI technologies accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study released today by RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The study also reveals that overall implementation of AI technologies across the business landscape increased for the third consecutive year.

The 2020 RELX Emerging Tech Executive Report marks the third edition of the survey and provides a three-year overview of AI adoption. It features insights from business leaders across eight industries (government, healthcare, insurance, legal, science/medical, banking and agriculture) and covers AI’s impact on businesses’ success, the future of work, global competition, ethics, and the global COVID-19 response. More than 1,000 U.S. senior executives were surveyed.

COVID-19 Drove AI Technology Investment and Adoption

COVID-19 is the most pressing issue facing US executives today as it reshapes

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Nigerian informal retailers turn tech-savvy to stock up amid pandemic

LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) – When the coronavirus outbreak forced shops to close in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, kiosk store owner Funmilayo Akinola weighed up her safety against the need to make a living.

After deciding that she couldn’t afford to stop working, she faced the challenge of replenishing her stock as the pandemic has made it harder for informal traders to buy wholesale goods due to safety measures disrupting supply chains.

The answer lay in a logistics firm that provides an online marketplace where manufacturers and retailers connect.

Lagos-based Trade Depot delivered goods that she bought using the company’s app.

“(Without Trade Depot) I would have just locked up my shop, because my husband will not allow me to go inside the market to go and be hustling for goods,” said Akinola.

She now uses her phone to order stock delivered by vans or tuk tuks

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Pandemic forces Europe’s largest tech event to go fully online

FILE PHOTO: Web Summit’s co-founder Paddy Cosgrave speaks during the inauguration of Web Summit, Europe’s biggest tech conference, in Lisbon

LISBON (Reuters) – Web Summit, Europe’s biggest technology conference, will be held entirely online in December due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced the cancellation or postponement of many major events this year, its organiser said on Thursday.

“Lisbon is still Web Summit’s home but with growing COVID-19 outbreaks across Europe, we have to think of what’s best for the people of Portugal and our attendees,” the conference’s founder Paddy Cosgrave said in a statement.

The decision, which came after the organiser said in June the event would take place in Lisbon as planned, followed talks with the Portuguese government and Lisbon’s mayor.

The event, which moved from Dublin to the

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Asia-Pacific has more billionaires than other regions, as pandemic boosts wealth

There are now 2,189 billionaires globally with a combined wealth of $10.2 trillion, as the pandemic-induced stock market rally catapulted the net worth of the world’s uber wealthy to a new high. 

As of July 2020, Asia-Pacific accounted for the highest number of ultra-high net worth individuals, with 831 (38%) of the super rich residing in the region, where billionaire wealth now totals $3.3 trillion, according to Swiss bank UBS’ new Billionaires Insights Report 2020. That compares to 762 (35%) across the Americas and 596 (27%) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). 

The findings, based on interviews and data from 2,000 billionaires across 43 markets, saw Asia-Pacific retain its global position as “the engine of wealth growth,” UBS Global Wealth Management’s Anurag Mahesh said at the report’s launch Wednesday.  

Mainland China emerged as the region’s top market for wealth creation, with 415 billionaires, followed by India (114), Hong

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Flux: Business technology firm helps clients keep working in pandemic

Resilience is part of the business plan at San Antonio-based DOCUmation. The digital imaging and business technology company handled the pandemic like it handles any other shift in the industry — it found a way to adapt.

As essential businesses looked for ways to minimize health risks for their employees, DOCUmation introduced contact-less thermal scanners that took a person’s temperature.

Co-Presidents Hunter Woolfolk and Preston Woolfolk say they learned early on about the need to adapt from their grandfather, Lou Scantland, who still serves as board chairman.

They watched as their father, Scott Woolfolk, and uncle, Lee Scantland, navigated an ever-changing industry. The company mpoved from selling copy machines to opening a print shop and offering information technology, software and phone support.

The brothers, who were born 14 months apart, worked every summer beginning in middle school, but it wasn’t until they graduated from Abilene Christian University that they were

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Indian Women In Science Struggled Even Before The Pandemic. Now, Things Are Much Worse

Rubina Mulchandani has been unable to do any field work for the past six months. A PhD scholar at the Indian Institute of Public Health in Gurugram, Mulchandani’s research involves travelling to tertiary hospitals in Delhi to collect data from cardiology OPDs. The first major hurdle was the Delhi metro grinding to a halt on 22 March, two days before the national lockdown began. Then came the other restrictions and health risks of the pandemic. While metro services restarted in September, Mulchandani, who has already lost precious time, says she’s unlikely to get on a train anytime soon because of the health and safety risks involved.

“Early research career fellows like me often do a lot of field work. There is only so much work you can do sitting at home. We are all facing that problem, but for women, due to the fact that we face additional constraints with

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