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রবিবার, ০৯ অগাস্ট ২০২০, ০৮:০৬ পূর্বাহ্ন

Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge

প্রতিবেদকের নাম:
  • প্রকাশের সময়: সোমবার, ৩০ মার্চ, ২০২০

Mir Maksura Hossain: New diseases like Corona virus are being created because a globalized, industrialized, inefficient food and agriculture model is invading into the ecological habitat of other species and manipulating animals and plants with no respect for their integrity and their health. The illusion of the earth and her beings as raw material to be exploited for profits is creating one world connected through disease.

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.We can be linked world wide through the spread of disease like the corona virus when we invade the homes of other species, manipulate plants and animals for commercial profits and greed, and spread monocultures. we can be connected through health and well-being for all by protecting diversity of ecosystems and protecting the biodiversity, integrity, self-organization of all living beings, including humans.

Invasion into forests and violating the integrity of species is spreading new diseases. Over the past 50 years, 300 new pathogens have emerged as we destroy the habitat of species and manipulate them for profits .

According to the WHO, the Corona virus moved from wild animals to humans “The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.A number of researchers today think that it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases like COVID-19, the viral disease that emerged in China in December 2019, to arise—with profound health and economic impacts in rich and poor countries alike. In fact, a new discipline, planetary health, is emerging that focuses on the increasingly visible connections among the well-being of humans, other living things and entire ecosystems.

I think that we are not at all surprised about the coronavirus outbreak. The majority of pathogens are still to be discovered. We are at the very tip of the iceberg. Major landscape changes are causing animals to lose habitats, which means species become crowded together and also come into greater contact with humans. Species that survive change are now moving and mixing with different animals and with humans.

“Pathogens do not respect species boundaries,” says disease ecologist Thomas Gillespie, an associate professor in Emory University’s Department of Environmental Sciences who studies how shrinking natural habitats and changing behavior add to the risks of diseases spilling over from animals to humans

The Market Connection: Disease ecologists argue that viruses and other pathogens are also likely to move from animals to humans in the many informal markets that have sprung up to provide fresh meat to fast-growing urban populations around the world. Here animals are slaughtered, cut up and sold on the spot.The “wet market” (one that sells fresh produce and meat) in Wuhan, thought by the Chinese government to be the starting point of the current COVID-19 pandemic, was known to sell numerous wild animals, including live wolf pups,salamanders, crocodiles, scorpions, rats, squirrels, foxes, civets and turtles.

Therefore, we can apply these lessons apply to biodiversity in following:

  1. Create a nature-based planetary safety net by strengthening the weakest links in our global systems:Nature and our economic systems are inextricably interwoven. Our global food system, for example, is vulnerable to biodiversity loss – as go the pollinators, so goes 35 percent of our global crops. With a million species at risk of extinction, including pollinators, we must shore up natural ecosystems as a planetary safety net for humanity.
  2. Select dense, multi-dimensional solutions that solve complex, multi-dimensional challenges:We must be as efficient as possible in simultaneously solving multi-dimensional challenges in nature and development. There is already a growing call for green COVID-19 rescue plans. A good start would be to commit to massive inclusive investments in agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, mangrove restoration, and more. Such solutions help stem our biodiversity crisis, mitigate more than a third of greenhouse gasesprevent disasters, and buffer the more than two billion people in poverty who directly depend on nature for their livelihoods.
  3. Commit to action now: We must be willing to take smart, strategic action. This means using the best available spatial data to make informed decisions about land use. As with COVID-19, taking steps to prevent species extinctions and ecological collapse is largely a matter of timing. I wondered if I had overreacted by leaving Italy too soon, until I read “everything you do before a pandemic seems overreacting, and everything you do after seems too little, too late.”
  4. Craft a bold Marshall Plan for nature: We must act as one planet to solve our biodiversity crisis by crafting a bold, coordinated, comprehensive plan. The draft post-2020 biodiversity framework is not nearly transformative enough to change the trajectory of biodiversity loss. It is time for a Marshall Plan for nature, one that sufficiently invests in the protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity, and that repositions nature at the heart of sustainable development. To do anything less is to succumb to a slow-moving crisis that will eventually have far more consequences for humanity than COVID-19.

Like nearly everything else, this year’s biodiversity events have largely been postponed, many until next year. However, if we can learn hard lessons from COVID-19 and apply them to the existential crisis of biodiversity loss as we head into recovery, 2020 just may well turn out to be a ‘Super Year’ for nature after all.

  • Mir Maksura Hossain: Student, Department of Environmental Science & Disaster Management, Noakhali Science & Technology University.

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