The Pandemics Report by IPBES

There is only one species responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic: us. To avoid future epidemics, we must act on prevention, to safeguard human health through the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, by reducing intensive agriculture and livestock farming, indiscriminate exploitation of forests and natural habitats, trade in wildlife.

These are the conclusions of the Pandemics Report, a document resulting from the collective work of 22 scientists gathered by the Intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (Ipbes), an independent intergovernmental body recognised by the United Nations, which brings together the world's leading biodiversity experts. 

The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss determine also the risk of pandemics, through their impact on our environment. Everything comes from the way we use the land, the expansion and intensification of agriculture, unsustainable consumption, intensive farming: all this damages ecosystems, unnaturally increasing contact between wildlife, livestock, pathogens and people, leading first to zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley fever), and then to epidemics, until pandemics, with stratospheric human and economic costs. In addition to the loss of more than one million people, the Covid-19 has caused gigantic economic costs at the global level, between 8 and 16 trillion dollars (July 2020).

Yet, scientists say, providing strong economic incentives against the devastation of natural environments would cost 100 times less. We need to move from reaction to prevention. And the "one health" approach, which cares about the state of health of humans, animals and the environment. It is necessary to institutionalise the holistic approach by national governments. First stop the globalised agricultural expansion, including through taxes or levies on meat consumption, livestock production and other forms of pandemic-prone activities, such as wildlife trade and wildlife consumption, while enhancing those who, among indigenous and local people, are committed to achieving greater sustainable food security for the entire ecosystem. (source:

Each of us can do our part: adopt an eco friendly lifestyle, use renewables and public transport, eat organic local vegan food, ditch single use plastics.

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