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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

World leaders ‘ignoring’ destruction of nature’s role in causing pandemics

<p>Ending the destruction of nature to stop outbreaks at source is more effective and cheaper than responding to them, scientists say </p><ul><li><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/series/coronavirus-live/latest">Coronavirus – latest updates</a></li><li><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/coronavirus-outbreak">See all our coronavirus coverage</a></li></ul><p>The root cause of pandemics – the destruction of nature – is being ignored, scientists have warned. The focus of world leaders on responding to future outbreaks overlooks the far cheaper and more effective strategy of stopping the spillover of disease from animals to humans in the first place, they have said.</p><p>The razing of forests and hunting of wildlife is increasingly bringing animals and the microbes they harbour into contact with people and livestock. About 70% of new infectious diseases have come from animals, including Covid-19, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/sars">Sars</a>, bird flu, Ebola and HIV.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/11/budget-cuts-and-collapse-in-tourism-revenue-pose-severe-threat-to-nature">Budget cuts and collapse in tourism revenue pose 'severe' threat to nature</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/09/inaction-leaves-world-playing-russian-roulette-pandemics-experts">Inaction leaves world playing ‘Russian roulette’ with pandemics, say experts</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/04/end-destruction-of-nature-to-stop-future-pandemics-say-scientists">Continue reading...</a>

Ending the destruction of nature to stop outbreaks at source is more effective and cheaper than responding to them, scientists say

The root cause of pandemics – the destruction of nature – is being ignored, scientists have warned. The focus of world leaders on responding to future outbreaks overlooks the far cheaper and more effective strategy of stopping the spillover of disease from animals to humans in the first place, they have said.

The razing of forests and hunting of wildlife is increasingly bringing animals and the microbes they harbour into contact with people and livestock. About 70% of new infectious diseases have come from animals, including Covid-19, Sars, bird flu, Ebola and HIV.

Related: Budget cuts and collapse in tourism revenue pose ‘severe’ threat to nature

Related: Inaction leaves world playing ‘Russian roulette’ with pandemics, say experts

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