International report lays out plan to ‘escape from the pandemic era’
Written by Timothy Huzar on November 7, 2020 — Fact checked by Catherine Carver, MPH
A new intergovernmental report has argued that the frequency and severity of pandemics will increase unless authorities worldwide put policies in place to lower the risk.
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The new report has argued that preemptive global action is necessary to avoid more frequent and severe pandemics.
The authors behind the report, which the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) produced, identify the current drivers of pandemic emergence and also make concrete policy suggestions for how to minimize pandemic risk.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused profound hardship globally. As well as disrupting economies and social and cultural life, it has also resulted in the deaths of more than 1.2 million people and appears to have caused long-term symptoms in some of those who have recovered from the disease.
However, a new report from the IPBES suggests that unless the world shifts from a reactive to a preemptive approach to pandemic risk management, future pandemics could be both more frequent and more severe.
Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance and Chair of the IPBES workshop that produced the report, states: “There is no great mystery about the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic — or of any modern pandemic. The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment.”
“Changes in the way we use land; the expansion and intensification of agriculture; and unsustainable trade, production, and consumption disrupt nature and increase contact between wildlife, livestock, pathogens, and people. This is the path to pandemics,” he adds.