The fact that we are in a global pandemic is proof that our relationship with nature is dysfunctional and broken. As we continue to further interfere with the natural world, eradicate numerous species a day, and logging off the earth's rainforests (30 soccer fields per minute), outbreaks like COVID-19 will likely become more frequent, widespread, and severe.
There are direct ties between what we do and how we live with nature and the emergence of infectious diseases. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), more than three-quarters of human diseases are zoonotic - which means that they transfer from animals to humans. These jumps, known as spillovers, become increasingly common.
To reduce the risk of a future pandemic, we MUST rebalance our relationship with nature and address the human-led activities that are putting us at higher risk.
Since ca. 60% of zoonotic diseases come from wildlife, large-scale deforestation and land conversion for agriculture increase the risk dramatically.
By addressing zoonotic disease risks at their origin and implementing solutions that emphasize the health of wildlife, the conservation of habitats, and the protection of people and animals who depend on them, we can prevent future diseases. We need to change how we are consuming wild animals, how we are producing food, and how we are using the land.
People like you and I can be at the heart of the solution. We have the power to build back the balance and restore our natural world, but this effort can only succeed if we work collectively.
WHAT YOU CAN DO? A LOT!
You can take action today by sending a message to the US Congress and the State Department asking them to take the necessary steps to help prevent future pandemics. You can do this here.
WWF FOR NATURE, FOR US Campaign