If nature’s destruction is not stopped, new pandemics will emerge that are even more dangerous than the current corona epidemic. This is what the professors Josef Settele, Sandra Díaz and Eduardo Brondizio expect, all of whom are leading experts in the field of biodiversity. The Guardian reports:
“There is only one type of responsibility for the Covid-19 pandemic: we are,” said the experts. “Recent pandemics are a direct result of human activity, especially our global financial and economic systems that prioritize economic growth over everything else. “
Deforestation, wildlife trafficking, intensive livestock farming, road construction and mining have created a “perfect storm,” greatly increasing the chances of a virus hopping between species, the experts write in a new publication. Moreover, due to increased air traffic and urbanization, a virus can spread among people at lightning speed.
The experts expect the number of pandemics to increase further in the future. For that reason, they advise governments to do much more to protect the environment. This is the only way to turn the tide. “Human health is closely linked to the health of wildlife, farm animals and the environment.”
The experts recommend helping countries where the risk of a virus spreading to humans is greatest. These include countries in Asia where wild animals are widely traded in markets, and African countries where a lot of wild meat is eaten.
Such programs can cost tens of billions a year, but experts point out that this is a pittance compared to the cost of a pandemic. In the Netherlands alone, the 2019 financing surplus of 14 billion euros this year turns into a budget deficit of 92 billion.
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