©: WWF

The loss of nature and rise of pandemics

At the time of writing, the world is in the grips of a global pandemic the like of which has never been seen before. The COVID-19 that has swept through countries and continents has caused untold human suffering, social upheaval and economic damage. But while the spread of the current crisis is unprecedented, the new coronavirus follows a number of diseases that have emerged in recent decades, such as Ebola, AIDS, SARS, avian influenza and swine flu. All originated in animals – and there is increasing evidence that humanity’s overexploitation of nature is one of the factors behind the spread of new diseases.