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Nature matters when it comes to pandemics

© WWF South Africa

Research has found that there are three critical enabling conditions that are causing an increase in pathogen spill-over events from animals to humans.

The critical conditions are:

Land-use change, which results in the loss and degradation of nature

Intensification and expansion of agriculture and animal production to meet the increasing demand for animal protein worldwide, and

Exploitation of wildlife including the sale and consumption of high-risk live wild animals.

It’s not enough to take only a health or economic lens on the issue, we have to include our impact on nature in our solutions.

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How is WWF approaching solutions to decrease the risk of future pandemics?

WWF is not an organisation that is expert in the study of disease, but we do understand nature.

If we end the trade in live wild animals, stop the incursion into tropical forests and degradation of forests and other natural habitats, and effectively regulate the farming, transport, sale and use of live animals, both wild and domestic, we can significantly decrease the risk and virulence of another pandemic.

By acting fast and working with governments, business and individuals we can reduce the probability and severity of the emergence of these diseases, particularly those that can spill over to humans from animals and cause pandemics such as the one we are currently experiencing.

WWF needs your support now.