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IPBES Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics

This report is published at a critical juncture in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, at which its long-term societal and economic impacts are being recognized.

IPBES, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

People in all sectors of society are beginning to look for solutions that move beyond business-as-usual. To do this will require transformative change, using the evidence from science to re-assess the relationship between people and nature, and to reduce global environmental changes that are caused by unsustainable consumption, and which drive biodiversity loss, climate change and pandemic emergence. The policy options laid out in this report represent such a change. They lay out a movement towards preventing  pandemics that is transformative: our current approach is to try to detect new diseases early, contain them, and  then develop vaccines and therapeutics to control them. Clearly, in the face of COVID-19, with more than one million human deaths, and huge economic impacts, this reactive approach is inadequate.

This report embraces the need for transformative change and uses scientific evidence to identify policy options to prevent pandemics. Many of these may seem costly, difficult to execute, and their impact uncertain. However, economic analysis suggests their costs will be trivial in comparison to the trillions of dollars of impact due to COVID-19, let alone the rising tide of future diseases. The scientific evidence reviewed here, and the societal and economic impacts of COVID-19 provide a powerful incentive to adopt these policy options and create the transformative change needed to prevent future pandemics. This will provide benefits to health, biodiversity conservation, our economies,and sustainable development. Above all, it will provide a vision of our future in which we have escaped the current ‘Pandemic Era’.
Link to Executive Summary >>>

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