With Coronavirus, ‘Nature is sending us a message’, says UN Environment Chief

UN’s Environment chief, Inger Andersen mentioned Coronavirus pandemic as a message to humanity from nature. According to the Danish environmentalist, the immediate response must be to prevent the virus from spreading but the long term response must include tackling the biodiversity loss and habitat.

Inger Andersen in her interview clearly stated “We are intimately connected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”

With humans and wildlife coming into close contact through continuous erosion of wild spaces, the exposure to such diseases has become much more convenient. As per the study, 75% of infectious diseases come from wildlife.

What can be the reasons for outbreaks such as COVID-19

As per the leading scientists, the outbreak of COVID-19 was a warning showing that there are many more deadly diseases existing in the wildlife. Andersen in her interview said, never before have so many opportunities existed for pathogens to pass from wild and domestic animals to people.”

Urging the authorities to put an end to live animal markets, which apart from being an illegal global animal trade also becomes a perfect mixing bowl for such diseases.

The threat of such diseases is always there

With the rising cases of Coronavirus all over the globe, Prof Andrew Cunningham from the Zoological Society of London said, “The emergence of COVID-19 was not only predictable, but it was also predicted (in the sense that) there would be another viral emergence from wildlife that would be a public health threat.”

The responsibility of such diseases is on human behavior where markets butcher live animals and where animals are crammed together into cages for long-distance transportation. It creates an ideal situation for such diseases to explore.

Measures to control and what countries can do regarding the spread of diseases

The step taken by China to ban live animal markets must be followed globally. This trade, which is a million-dollar industry in itself is also a part of this problem. The only articulated measures against such diseases are to gain a balance between wildlife and humanity.

Changes in the behavior, our consumption and in our lifestyle can be one of the first steps to be taken. Taking this pandemic as nature’s waking call, the major alterations in environmental policies that will control and assess the risks must be some of the things that can be done globally.

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