Preventing future pandemics: curb climate change and protect environment, says UN report
World Zoonoses Day, which commemorates the work of French biologist Louis Pasteur, who successfully administered the first vaccine against rabies, a zoonotic disease, on July 6, 1885.
Land degradation, wildlife exploitation, intensive farming and climate change are driving the rise in diseases that, like the coronavirus, are passed from animals to humans, United Nations experts said on Monday.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) jointly identified seven trends responsible for such diseases, known as zoonotic, calling on governments to take steps to stop future pandemics.
-rising demand for animal protein
-extraction of natural resources and urbanization
-intensive and unsustainable farming
-exploitation of wildlife
-increased travel and transportation
-food supply changes
“The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead,” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen. “Pandemics are devastating to our lives and our economies, and as we have seen over the past months, it is the poorest and the most vulnerable who suffer the most. To prevent future outbreaks, we must become much more deliberate about protecting our natural environment.”
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