29 October 2020
Green Peer Natalie Bennett has welcomed the greater understanding of the relationship between the destruction of habitats and the risk of causing future pandemics.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the IPBES report into the link between biodiversity loss and pandemics, Baroness Bennett said:
‘Our wellbeing and our economy are utterly dependent on the environment, as this important report reminds us. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic and other deadly diseases such as SARS and Ebola, as well as Covid-19, it is clear that a significant factor is our destructive and exploitative relationship with the natural world.
‘We are destroying natural forests and other wild habitats on an unprecedented scale, disrupting ecosystems and giving greater chances to viruses to jump to human populations.
‘Poor standards of animal welfare in settings like wet markets and factory farms also increases the potential for spill-over events.
‘We need to be protecting our few relatively natural spaces, in severely nature-deprived nations like the UK increasing them, and ensuring all of our lands and seas are treated with respect. In the UK we should start with setting a target of designating 20% of Britain as national park and shifting rapidly to agroecological production of healthy food, with crop diversity and an enormous expansion of agroforestry.'
IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service) brought together 22 experts from across the world to provide scientific evidence on risk factors driving Covid-19 and other pandemics and identify what can be done differently to prevent future pandemics.
The launch can be followed live from 14.00 GMT here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcKuw5BMglM&feature=youtu.be