“Humanity cannot live well on a sick planet itself”. Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, expected elsewhere, had time on Monday to launch the discussion around a global management of the health of animals, humans and the environment. A motion that will be voted on in the various countries gathered in Marseille on the occasion of the World Conservation Congress (IUCN).
Covid-19, sixth pandemic in a century
Naturally, “the impact on humanity and social structures of Covid-19”, a virus “which will remain for good,” said Dr. David Nabarro, currently encourages such discussions. Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, the sixth since the Spanish flu in 1918, does not inspire optimism. “Two new viruses of animal origin pass into the human population each year,” he warned. Regarding infectious diseases, such as Covid-19, “85 of the emerging diseases come from wildlife, continued Jon Paul Rodriguez, member of the IUCN endangered species monitoring commission, 42% of which are variants. “.
Faced with this observation, scientists then explored avenues to reduce the risks of future pandemics or, failing that, to be able to mitigate their effects. In the first place “give back space to nature and reduce its exploitation, even if this is not in our economic interest”, called Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, of the German agency for international cooperation for development. With the horizon, reaching 30% of land areas and as many protected maritime areas. Increased surveillance of the wildlife trade, better hygiene in the food chain and “reducing our dependence on factory-produced products” were also mentioned.
“We learned more about mink when we discovered the coronavirus at home than what we knew before”
At the same time, scientists have called for more research into diseases that affect wildlife and their links to domestic animals. A cocktail “with great potential”, underlined Jon Paul Rodriguez who fears the amnesia which occurs after each crisis. “We learned more about mink when we discovered the coronavirus at home than we knew before,” he summarized. “We have to change the paradigm”.
To do this, countries should coordinate their efforts and work towards the establishment of a global health system taking into account those of animals, humans and the environment. This is the meaning of the motion One earth – One health (One land – One health) which will be put to the vote of the 160 countries represented by the IUCN.