Lockdown study reveals important link between humans, natural world

Researcher Amanda Bates said the study shows how important humans are to restoring and protecting nature. (CTV News)

A new study highlighting the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on the environment has revealed an unexpected twist.

Amanda Bates, a co-author of the study who will be joining the University of Victoria as a professor next month, says some of the findings came as a surprise to her.

The marine biologist said the study confirms that virtual learning and working from home cut down on daily commutes and carbon emission, however the lockdown also had some negative environmental ramifications.

“We weren’t participating in things like beach cleanups,” Bates said. “There was illegal hunting, there were people trampling endangered orchids.”

Bates said the study shows “how important human beings are in actually restoring, conserving and protecting nature.”

Bates is set to take on a professorship at the University of Victoria in July. She was recently appointed a Pew fellow in marine conservation. Part of that work will focus on monitoring the long-term impacts of the global lockdowns.