May 22 is World Biodiversity Day. One important reason while “nature is declining at an unprecedented rate”, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who points out that environmental changes favor the emergence of infections transmitted by animals. Including coronavirus.
Biodiversity refers to all life forms on earth. Plants, animals, microorganisms … Everything that constitutes the wealth of our planet. These taxes are now threatened, and that was to alert the emergency that the UN set up International Biodiversity Day May 22, the date of entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity, signed in 1993.
“Nature is currently declining at an unprecedented rate, at a faster rate of species extinction, already causing serious impacts on humans around the world,” writes Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General in a communique. “Failure to act is to fail with humanity,” he insists.
Environmental changes favor the emergence of animal infections
Preserving biodiversity means preserving nature, therefore preserving people and health. And the current coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 5 million people worldwide, is a living example. Whether it comes from a bat or a pangolin, it is human activity that has favored its transition to Man, and if nothing changes, many others will follow, warn specialists and the UN.
“About 60% of human infectious diseases are zoonoses, that is, they come to us through animals,” said Antonio Guterres. Among the zoonoses that have recently emerged, Ebola virus, bird flu, SARS and now this new coronavirus.
“Although the origin of the epidemic and its path of transmission still need to be investigated, it is important to know that the factors behind the emergence of zoonoses are among other changes in the environment,” Guterres recalls.
“Ensuring a resilient and sustainable future”
To respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, “healthy management of hazardous medical and chemical waste, strong and global management of nature and biodiversity, and a clear commitment to rebuilding better […]are necessary. “He is therefore asking for green jobs and a transition to carbon-neutral economies.” Mankind depends on the measures now being taken to ensure a viable and sustainable future, “he insists.