IPBES Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics | Land Portal

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December 2020
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Land use change is a major global driver of pandemic risk. Land usechange is a significant driver of the transmission and emergence of infectious diseases 40,177-179. Land use changeis cited as the cause of over 30% of emerging infectious diseases, and correlates significantly withthe emergence of novel zoonoses globally 13,180. However, the mechanisms by which diseases emergeare context-specific and scale-dependent. Land use change leads tothe loss, turnover and homogenization of biodiversity181-183; it causes habitat fragmentation, creates novel ecosystems and promotes the expansion of human populations into landscapes where Indigenous Peoples and local communities have often lived since historical times at relatively low density.These activities create newopportunities for contact between humans and livestock with wildlife, increasing the risk of disease transmission and the emergence of pathogens34,59,60,184. Land use changehas been linked to outbreaksofEIDs, includingEbola 67andLassa fever 185in Africa, Machupo virus in South America186, zoonotic malaria in Borneo 129, malaria in Brazil 128and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in China 9. Wildlife hosts of human pathogens occur at higherlevels of speciesrichness and abundance in areas with secondary forest, agricultural and urban ecosystems compared to undisturbed areas, with the strongest effects found in bats, rodents and passerine birds40,42. Human dominated habitats favour the invasion and expansion of rodents that are reservoirs for plague, Bartonellaspp. bacteria, hantaviruses and other zoonotic pathogens 41,187-190. Populations of reservoirs forHantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome have increased following deforestation in the Americas191and at regional and landscape levels in Central America192. Similarly, land use change is linked to increased transmission of vector-borne diseases (albeit some of which are not pandemic threats) such as Dengue fever(with increasing urbanization), Chagasdisease 193,yellow fever, leishmaniasis194,195, Brazilian spotted fever 196-198and malaria 128,199.Even the legacy of anthropogenic disturbance can serve as a mechanistic driver of emergence by altering habitat and community structurein ways that shift disease dynamics in wildlife creating novel scenarios for pathogens to jump from wildlife to people. Pandemics,such as COVID-19,underscore both the indivisible interconnectedness of the world communityand the rising threat posed by global inequality to the health, wellbeing and security of all people: Exponential growthin consumption of products from land use change and globalized trade, oftendriven by developed countries,have led to the repeated emergence of diseases from developingcountrieswith highbiodiversity, and thus conditions that increase potential for zoonotic emergence. Reducing high pandemic-risk consumption in developed countries:Unsustainableconsumption of palm oil, sugar cane, tropical forest hardwood, rare earth elements for electronic equipment, meat and other livestock products, wildlife products (e.g. fur for the fashion industry)and wild animals for the pet trade,all play a role in driving land use change and the wildlife trade, and increasing pandemic risk. More sustainable consumption indevelopedcountries could be promoted by better labellingof products, and campaigns to raise awareness of the connections between consumption and emerging disease risk, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Long term studies of how changing land use patterns in conservation programs affect host-microbe species assemblages, and transmission among species and into humans and livestockmay provide vital knowledge that could be used to better assess the impact of corridors, mosaic landscapes, andother conservation tools on health.It will be critical to conduct studies at multiple scales, relevant to the transmission dynamics, ecological changes and behaviors and activities that drive emergence, as well as the scales targeted by conservation and restoration programs. Enabling transformative change in the types of consumption, globalized agricultural expansion andtrade that have led to pandemics: Unsustainable patterns of global consumption drive globalized agricultural expansion and trade, and are linked to pandemic risk, as well as land use change, biodiversity loss and climatechange. Increasing available knowledge on the economic benefits of more sustainable consumption and agricultural development could be used to drive an added incentive in a shift to agriculture that focuses on provisioning of ecosystem services, while responding to the needs of food security for local communities and encouraging human, animal and ecosystem health. Developing a better understanding of the specific links between consumption patterns in developed and developing countries; demand for meat, products of mining and expansion of agriculture in EIDhotspots; and the risk of disease emergence, could drive transformative change to reduce pandemics. Efforts could include:•Identifying, ranking and labelling high pandemic risk consumption patterns to provide incentives for alternatives•Designingcertification programs for low-pandemic risk consumption, e.g. programs to label products that reduce dependency on land use change from agriculture to re-established natural ecosystems•Steps to increase efficiencyof agricultural processes, while balancing with sustainability, to meet food requirements from currently available land and subsequently reduced land areas•Promotinga transition to healthier and more sustainable and diverse diets, including responsible meat consumption.•Promoting food security to reduce the ad hoc consumption of wildlife•Where there is a clear link to high pandemic risk, consideration of taxes or levies on meat consumption, production, livestock production or other forms of consumption, as proposed previously by the USAInstitute of Medicine Committee , UK Royal Institute of International Development , academic reports and others .These activities will need to balance the commitments of developingcountriesfor economic development, the nutritional requirements for Indigenous Peoples and local communities that depend on natural food sources, the need to maintain, restore, or sustainably use biodiversity and the need to protect global health by reducing pandemic risk. About: The IPBES Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) authorized a workshop on biodiversity and pandemics that was held virtually on 27-31 July 2020 in accordance with the provisions on “Platform workshops” in support of Plenary-approved activities, set out in section 6.1 of the procedures for the preparation of Platform deliverables (IPBES-3/3, annex I). This workshop report and any recommendations or conclusions contained therein have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by the IPBES Plenary. The workshop report is considered supporting material available to authors in the preparation of ongoing or future IPBES assessments. While undergoing a scientific peer-review, this material hasnot been subjected to formal IPBES review processes

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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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