Warning comes as destruction of nature increasingly seen as key driver of zoonotic diseases
The United Nations’ biodiversity chief has called for a global ban on wildlife markets – such as the one in Wuhan, China, believed to be the starting point of the coronavirus outbreak – to prevent future pandemics.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, said countries should move to prevent future pandemics by banning “wet markets” that sell live and dead animals for human consumption, but cautioned against unintended consequences.
China has issued a temporary ban on wildlife markets where animals such as civets, live wolf pups and pangolins are kept alive in small cages while on sale, often in filthy conditions where they incubate diseases that can then spill into human populations. Many scientists have urged Beijing to make the ban permanent.
At least 212 environmental campaigners and land defenders, 40 percent of them from indigenous communities, were killed last year as they sought to protect their territories from incursions by mining interests, agribusiness, timber companies, and oil and gas corporations. […]
New film The End of Medicine—created by award-winning British filmmaker Alex Lockwood and What the Health co-director Keegan Kuhn—aims to spotlight the role of animal agriculture in the rise of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19. […]
In a major essay to mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, John Pilger describes reporting from five 'ground zeros' for nuclear weapons - from Hiroshima to Bikini, Nevada to Polynesia and Australia. He warns that unless we take action now, China is next. […]