Zoonotic diseases – which jump from animals to humans – are increasing and will continue to do so without action to protect wildlife and preserve the environment, UN experts have warned.
But that jump is not automatic. It is driven, by the degradation of our natural environment – for example through land degradation, wildlife exploitation, resource extraction and climate change. This alters the way animals and humans interact.
“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,” Ms Andersen said.
“To prevent future outbreaks, we must become much more deliberate about protecting our natural environment.”