In 2020, we are in the doorstep of a new decade, during which the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are to be achieved, collectively as one nation and one human-hood, where availability of safe, sustainable and clean water and air forms the core of multiple goals. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has resulted a newer challenge and paradigm for an evolving socio-scientific priorities. It is generally expected that the impacts of the pandemic would be in shorter time-scale, while the planned time and pathway for attaining the SDG are typically mandated in longer-term, hence may remain mostly unaffected. However, the stringent lockdown measures, isolated economies and financial burden to contain the pandemic emergency have resulted to slowdown of socio-economic development, which if continues for a longer period, would put a question mark on developing plans and pathways to achieve the SDGs, even in decadal-scale. Hence, in these newer times, it is important to understand the real priorities of availability of clean water and air, which are already stressed worldwide and in India, because of various natural and human-influenced triggers. This ongoing pandemic has provided an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate the impact of human development and consequent feedback of nature and human society in pre- and post-COVID scenarios on water–air–human life, which can help to re-think and re-orient the societal development priorities. It is a rare opportunity for scientists to impress the policy-makers with real-time examples on the efficacies of potential mitigation strategies for climate change, water and air pollution, and the importance of enduring investment on environmental causes and consequent benefits that can secure health and development for our future generations.
$\bullet$ Environmental pollution and climate change pose a high risk for human survival.
$\bullet$ Develop resilience to attain SDGs in spite of economic constraints caused by COVID-19.
$\bullet$ Set real priorities of availability of clean water and air for future, in a unified world.
Volume 129, 2020
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode