The world is treating the health and economic symptoms of the coronavirus pandemic but not the environmental cause, according to the authors of a UN report. As a result, a steady stream of diseases can be expected to jump from animals to humans in coming years, they say.
The number of such “zoonotic” epidemics is rising, from Ebola to Sars to West Nile virus and Rift Valley fever, with the root cause being the destruction of nature by humans and the growing demand for meat, the report says. Even before Covid-19, 2 million people died from zoonotic diseases every year, mostly in poorer countries. The coronavirus outbreak was highly predictable, the experts said. “[Covid-19] may be the worst, but it is not the first,” said the UN environment chief, Inger Andersen.
“An intense surge in human activity is affecting the environment all across the planet, from burgeoning human settlements to [food production], to increasing mining industries,” said Doreen Robinson, Unep’s chief of wildlife. “This human activity is breaking down the natural buffer that once protected people from a number of pathogens. It’s critically important to get at the root causes, otherwise we will consistently just be reacting to things.”
Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.