FutureTales Lab by MQDC Forecasts 3 Environmental Impacts from COVID-19

27 May 2020, Bangkok – FutureTales Lab by MQDC forecasts great environmental effects, as well as economic and lifestyle impacts, from the COVID-19 outbreak. After a short-lived improvement, the futurology center expects the pandemic to distract from environmental challenges.

Dr. Karndee Leopairote, Chief Advisor of the FutureTales Lab by MQDC, said that all sectors must work together, ranging from individuals using less plastic to the big picture of urban design. THE FORESTIAS provides an example, as a forest-based community that can enhance nature and well-being in the city and increasing urban green space.

Dr. Pannin Sumanasrethakul, Foresight Research Director of FutureTales Lab by MQDC, said that “Futures Cone” analysis found 3 future scenarios for potential post-COVID environmental changes:

1. Probable Futures: Worldwide air pollution fell 60% year-on-year because of the lockdown. But past data shows that global energy use will surge once the epidemic is over.

2. Plausible Futures: People kept at home in the lockdown drove up plastic waste in Bangkok in April. Volume surged 62% year-on-year to 3,432 tons because of home deliveries of food and other items.

3. Possible Futures: Central and eastern Thailand will likely experience floods in August-October. Although studies find a low risk of the virus spreading through water, laboratory tests suggest it can spread in contaminated water for several weeks.

All 3 future scenarios show how the epidemic’s environmental impact will affect well-being. FutureTales Lab by MQDC has analyzed the situation through the model of “Riding 2 Curves” to present the shift to new approaches. The environment should be valued as a communal asset. Enhancing public participation would be more sustainable than focusing on laws and penalties.

"This crisis can be seen from another perspective as a new start and a chance to change to protect the environment,” said Dr. Pannin.

“We should all reflect and consider long-term environmental protection. We should pay more attention to every action that affects the environment because humans are part of the global ecosystem."

Explore the work of the FutureTales Lab here: