The risk of disease outbreaks including pandemics increases the more nature is destroyed. Committed nature conservation in many regions of the world is thus key to preventing new infectious diseases. Federal Environment Minister Schulze, The Federal Republic of Germany, emphasised this link today together with renowned scientists.
The exact transmission route of the novel coronavirus from animals to humans has not yet been conclusively researched. However, it is well documented that around 70 per cent of the human pathogens originate from fauna, including HIV, Ebola, influenza, MERS and SARS. The risk of transmission is particularly high at wildlife markets where people come together with different species in a confined space and where animals are kept penned up under unacceptable hygiene conditions. In the view of scientists, there is an even more fundamental risk of animal to human transmission when ecosystems are thrown out of balance due to human intervention.
Press release from Minister Schulze, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety – The Federal Republic of Germany. The full press release can be read here