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COVID-19

In the spirit of the United Nations Cooperation Framework, PAGE works as one — across five UN agencies, with embedded National Coordinators, government focal points, and essential connections to UN Resident Coordinators (UNRCs). In 2020, collaboration was strengthened as responsive and forward-looking socio-economic planning to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 became paramount. Beyond enhanced collaboration between the PAGE partners, PAGE also actively engaged on the high-level across the UN system to inform the global UN response to COVID-19.

Globally, PAGE contributed to the development and incorporation of environmental sustainability and green economy thinking into guiding UN documents: A UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19; the UN Sustainable Development Group’s (UNSDG) guidance note to UN Country Teams on Economic Transformation; The UN Secretary General’s Policy Brief on The World of Work and COVID-19; and the Report of the UN Economist Network for the UN 75th Anniversary: Shaping the Trends of Our Time.

Throughout 2020, assessment, monitoring and engagement across partners culminated in commitments for targeted green recovery support for 14 countries, with work beginning in 2021. This specific support mechanism is in addition and complementary to ongoing PAGE work in these countries and the additional funding was made possible through a contribution of US$ 7 million from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany.

"It is now a question of setting a course that ensures we do not return to business as usual after the pandemic and that we instead make a genuine recovery that supports a viable, climate-friendly and environmentally sound economy and society. The Coronavirus crisis shows us very emphatically that we must better protect the natural foundations of life and biodiversity now in order to improve protection against future pandemics. After all, the destruction of nature is the crisis behind the crisis.

The goal must be to build a broad alliance for social and ecological progress. For example, investments in renewable energy, green mobility and climate-friendly industrial processes support climate action, innovation and jobs at the same time. Our guiding principle is not to go back to the old world, but to work towards a better world with more resilient and climate-friendly economies."

Honourable Minister Svenja Schulze
German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

The COVID-19 crisis touched many aspects of life across the world. The first priority of PAGE was to stay connected to all the members of the Partnership, reinforcing a level of support that extends beyond regular work. This involved greater dialogue, focused task teams, embracing inter-agency collaboration and promoting capacity-building and learning opportunities and began with a statement of fellowship and hope for our collective future from the PAGE Management Board.

Subsequently, PAGE enhanced collaboration on all levels and strengthened the existing bonds throughout its various bodies — between the PAGE Funding Partners, Management Board, Global Technical Team, Country Teams and the PAGE Secretariat. This enhanced connection aided the speed and success of the COVID-19 response within the Partnership. Below are key examples of the ways in which this deepened support unfolded.

  • Acting quickly to gather immediate insights from PAGE Partner Countries, a COVID-19 Impact Survey was sent to national counterparts at the start of April 2020. Beyond data collection on immediate health impacts, […]

  • Conducted between May and June 2020, a rapid Needs Assessment Survey for Green Economic Recovery from COVID-19 Crisis took inputs directly from countries on impacts from the pandemic with an overall objective to gain insights on smart strategies and gaps where country support would be most essential in green economic recovery planning. The assessment — based on systematic exchange with government and UN partners, including UNRCs, PAGE funding partners, and their country delegations — helped identify support strategies that would integrate sustainability objectives in line with Sustainable Development Goals and climate and biodiversity targets.​ From this, six priority areas were identified: […]

  • PAGE began these informal monthly virtual meetings between the PAGE National Coordinators, partner agencies and Secretariat to initially take stock of country impacts from COVID-19 and support a partnership-wide adjustment to new realities in April 2020. Met with overwhelming enthusiasm and engagement, the series has grown into a regular dialogue and platform for PAGE counterparts to share best practices, discuss challenges and promote peer-to-peer learning, removing geographical barriers and strengthening ties.

     

  • The COVID-19 Task Team, comprised of PAGE Steering Committee and Management Board members, was formed in April 2020 to help assess the initial impacts of COVID-19 and assist in shaping the PAGE response. The strategic guidance provided by the Task Team enabled PAGE to act rapidly and with flexibility, developing its response and support in close coordination with PAGE country teams and UN Resident Coordinators.

  • As part of an ongoing effort to support PAGE Partner Countries, the PAGE COVID-19 Hub was first developed in May 2020 to offer relevant news and academic articles on green economic recoveries. The aim was, ultimately, to arm PAGE partners and national teams with global information and resources that could support informed thinking and decision making leading to long-term, sustainable recovery in a post-COVID-19 world.

  • Closing following the development of the COVID-19 resource hub, the PAGE Data Observatory was developed to track socio-economic and health impacts from COVID-19, track policy responses and assess potential focus areas for green recovery in PAGE Countries. The information provided, for example, includes data and projections on GDP growth, trade, manufacturing and air quality. It also includes tracking on green economy progress in partner countries by using selected indicators from The Green Economy Progress (GEP) Measurement Framework and its Dashboard of Sustainability.

  • Adapting existing modules, PAGE partner agencies jointly launched a global learning campaign to foster green and inclusive economic recoveries from the COVID-19 crisis […]

  • While the green recovery learning campaign focused primarily on policymakers, under the leadership of UNITAR, PAGE developed a global podcast series, The Green Renaissance, engaging speakers both within and outside the UN system, aimed at informing the public debate on matters related to inclusive green economic recovery moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in November 2020, this project will carry through the course of 2021.

  • To further support countries in green recovery planning, PAGE engaged in a modelling exercise — comparing green versus brown economic recovery scenarios — in collaboration with Cambridge Econometrics. The modelling exercise was aimed at providing clear […]

  • PAGE leveraged existing tools and services in 2020 to  support governments in the creation of their respective economic recovery efforts — knowing that smart recovery policies  and investments  are integral for sustainable, long-term inclusive  green economy transformations. Specifically, these tools were designed to aid economic policymaking, which can explicitly support economic recovery options, by guiding analysis, promoting green jobs and fostering sustainable investments and business models.

  • In addition to monitoring the global socio-economic response to COVID-19 and addressing impacts in PAGE Partner Countries, PAGE published several thematic briefs to aid the discourse on the need for a green and inclusive economic recovery.

    PAGE's additional support to select partner countries — aimed at fostering inclusive and green economic recoveries — is the result of the multifaceted efforts mentioned above. The additional work is complementary to the ongoing support in each country.

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