Humanity is placing too many pressures on the natural world with damaging consequences, including the deadly COVID-19 and the yet unrealized fallout from accelerating man-made climate change, says Inger Andersen, UN ENVIRONMENT HEAD.
She told the Guardian on Wednesday that the immediate priority was to protect people from the coronavirus and prevent its spread. “But our long-term response must tackle habitat and biodiversity loss.
Never before have so many opportunities existed for pathogens to pass from wild and domestic animals to people,” she told the paper, adding that 75% of all emerging infectious diseases come from wildlife.
“Our continued erosion of wild spaces has brought us uncomfortably close to animals and plants that harbor diseases that can jump to humans.”
Australian bushfires, shattered heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya for 70 years only help convince her of the emergency.
'all of these events, nature is sending us a message. There are too many pressures at the same time on our natural systems and something has to give... And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.’