“It is more vital than ever that global leaders connect the dots between pandemic prevention, combatting climate change and protecting biodiversity. Conserving tropical forests and wildlife and respecting the rights of the local communities are the best way to quickly advance these goals.”Professor Tom Lovejoy, Climate Change & Tropical Ecology Expert
This past weekend, the G7 heads of state, hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, met with a declared intention of making progress on COVID-19 response and efforts to build back better from the pandemic, as well as on climate change.
Following is a statement from Dr. Nigel Sizer, Executive Director of the Preventing Pandemics at the Source initiative which brings together leading global public health, environmental, and COVID victims and survivors organizations.
“The G7 leaders, the most powerful group of people in the world, hosted by Boris Johnson, are failing to grasp the imperative to step up and address the most urgent threats facing humankind.
“All of the pandemics in the last century, including HIV, Ebola, SARS, and COVID-19, as well as dozens of other emerging infectious diseases, are zoonotic in origin and we know that at least 6 of the 7 are the result of spillover of viruses from animals into people. The risk of spillover grows dramatically as people clear more tropical forests and trade live wildlife for pets and consumption. Preventing pandemics at the source – by protecting and managing tropical forests, biodiversity, and wildlife – is vital to any effort to build back better.”