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Covid-19 : latest news of the world- Logbook n°6

For this 6th edition, IFGR’s special Covid-19 logbook offers you 4 contributions, which once again highlight the multiple facets of the global crisis we are going through: health of course, but also environmental and economic aspects. These cross-sectoral analyses once again reflect all the richness of the IFGR River Committee, in addition to being the work of prestigious signatures! 


For this 6th edition, “rendez-vous” has been made with : 

  • Erik Orsenna, Ambassador of the Institut Pasteur, member of the Académie française, and president of IFGR: he gives us a preview of an extract from his next book, to be published at the end of August by Fayard/Stock: “The Unity of Life“. These few pages highlight the incredible biodiversity of the Amazonian forest, revealed during the construction of the Petit-Saut dam in French Guyana, which flooded an area three times larger than the surface area of Paris.

It took this dam, and therefore this aggression of the environment, to start taking an interest in the treasures it contains.



  • Mirdad Kazanji, director of the Institut Pasteur of French Guyana, was kind enough this week to explain this virus, which never ceases to surprise us, so varied and progressive are its symptoms.

For him “we are faced with a range of pathologies that we have not seen in other coronavirus epidemics such as SARS or MERS, which manifest themselves mainly as influenza syndromes. Its other specificity is the large number of asymptomatic people”. It also answers our questions about screening tests, which are essential for release from containment.


  • Anne-Claire Vial, a farmer by profession and president of Arvalis-Institute of Vegetal, gives us her analysis of the Covid-19 crisis through the prism of our agricultural systems and our food. Will the health crisis be combined with a food crisis? One fact is already certain for her: this crisis leads us to rediscover the strategic stakes of agriculture and food for our security and sovereignty.

Food sovereignty must be a top priority. Many had forgotten it or instrumentalized it as a lock-in, which it is not. The answer lies in a territorialization of the act of production (…). We may be living the end of hyper-globalization. We can hope to enter a more responsible phase. The food challenge is both local and global.

  • Finally, Papa Abdoulaye Seck, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal and member of the French Academy of Agriculture, offers us this week a second contribution, co-signed with Jacques Brulhet, Vice-President of the French Academy of Agriculture. The Covid-19 crisis is heavily affecting the agri-food sector, especially in the southern countries, which are mostly food importers. Following the example of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), shouldn’t a “Common Food Policy” be created?

To know more

Photo credit: IFGR/Camille Moirenc; Institut Pasteur of French Guyana/Ronan Liétar-Imazone

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