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How can the environment be protected to fight infectious disease outbreaks like Coronavirus?
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How Do Environmental Issues Lead to Outbreaks like COVID-19?” (OneSharedEarth, May 2020) covers how environmental issues can lead to infectious diseases like Coronavirus that spread in humans.

Here are some things that can be done to prevent those environmental issues

  • Educate communities (hunters, loggers, market traders, consumers) on the risks of the wildlife meat trade & implement sustainable farming in these areas to replace that as food source.
  • Promote more sustainable animal farming over factory farms that pack thousands of animals together. 
  • Prevent deforestation.
  • Avoid products containing palm oil which is usually derived from trees grown on land cleared from tropical rain forests. These products could range from some processed foods to some bio fuels.
  • Eat less meat to lessen demand for crops and pastures used for animal farming.
  • Reduce food waste to lessen the pressure to grow more.
  • Invest in more efficient techniques to produce food. These could range from developing drought resistant crops to agro-forestry such as planting trees among farm fields.
  • Slow population growth in both rich & poor countries. In poorer countries, this can be enabled by ensuring women are given better education, equal social status with men and easy access to affordable contraceptives.
  • Stop global warming & climate change. See “What Are the Key Actions against Climate Change?” (OneSharedEarth, January 2020) and “What Are Most Effective Ways an Individual Can Reduce Carbon Footprint?” (OneSharedEarth, July 2018) for more on this.
  • Reduce burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas to keep our lungs healthy, which can protect us from respiratory infections.

 

References

Carrington D, “Coronavirus: 'Nature Is Sending Us a Message’, Says UN Environment Chief” (The Guardian, March 2020)

Coronavirus, Climate Change, and the Environment” (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, March 2020)

THE EDITORS, “Stopping Deforestation Can Prevent Pandemics” [2020] Scientific American

Vidal J, “‘Tip of the Iceberg’: Is Our Destruction of Nature Responsible for Covid-19?” (The Guardian, March 2020)

What Does Conservation Have To Do With Covid-19?” (World Land Trust, April 2020)

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