Environmental aspects such as deforestation and the commerce and consumption of high-risk wildlife are driving the development of pandemics, WWF International warned on Wednesday.
“We have to desperately recognize the connections between the destruction of character and human wellbeing, or we’ll shortly find another outbreak,” Marco Lambertini, director-general of WWF International stated in an announcement.
A fresh report in the ecological NGO lists the commerce and consumption of high-risk wildlife, a land-use change resulting in deforestation and conversion, the growth of agriculture and unsustainable intensification, and animal production as key drivers behind the development of zoonotic diseases.
Zoonotic diseases are brought on by bacteria that spread between animals and humans. The present COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of over 445,000 people globally, is thought to have been transmitted to people from bats and pangolins.
However, WWF cautioned that much more must be carried out.
“Our unsustainable international food system is forcing large-scale conversion of organic spaces such as agriculture, fragmenting natural ecosystems and increasing connections between livestock, wildlife, and people,” it stated.
Its report estimates that between 60 percent and 70 percent of the new ailments that arose in people over the last 30 years had a zoonotic origin.
Throughout this period, 178 million hectares of woods — equal to the magnitude of Libya, the 18th largest country no real planet — was cleared and transformed for livestock or food production.
Land conversion for agricultural activities has generated 70 percent of planetary biodiversity reduction and half of the reduction of tree cover internationally thus far, the WWF report says.
The NGO is calling on authorities to agree to a”New Deal for Nature and People” that could see them take action to stop and reverse the loss of biodiversity and put nature on a route to healing by 2030.
Lambertini explained COVID-19 as a”catastrophe” but worried that additionally provides”a chance to heal our connection with nature and mitigate risks of future pandemics”.
“But a much better future begins with conclusions authorities, businesses and people across the globe take now,” he explained.