The COVID-19 pandemic is intricately linked to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health

Effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis related to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health
Elsevier, The Lancet Planetary Health, Volume 5, November 2021
Authors: 
Lawler O.K., Allan H.L., Baxter P.W.J., Castagnino R., Tor M.C., Dann L.E. et al.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by zoonotic SARS-CoV-2, has important links to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health. These links range from anthropogenic activities driving zoonotic disease emergence and extend to the pandemic affecting biodiversity conservation, environmental policy, ecosystem services, and multiple conservation facets. Crucially, such effects can exacerbate the initial drivers, resulting in feedback loops that are likely to promote future zoonotic disease outbreaks. We explore these feedback loops and relationships, highlighting known and potential zoonotic disease emergence drivers (eg, land-use change, intensive livestock production, wildlife trade, and climate change), and discuss direct and indirect effects of the ongoing pandemic on biodiversity loss and ecosystem health. We stress that responses to COVID-19 must include actions aimed at safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems, in order to avoid future emergence of zoonoses and prevent their wide-ranging effects on human health, economies, and society. Such responses would benefit from adopting a One Health approach, enhancing cross-sector, transboundary communication, as well as from collaboration among multiple actors, promoting planetary and human health.