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Biodiversity & Pandemics


1. Loss of biodiversity, and wildlife trade, is believed to have strong linkages with the emergence of epidemics.

2. The Covid pandemic is an opportunity for us to cultivate behavioural changes towards our interactions with nature.

Loss of biodiversity

1. Dangerous infectious diseases like Ebola, Bird flu, MERS, SARS, Nipah, etc.have been transferred to humans from wild animals.

2. Human induced environmental changes led to the loss of biodiversity, resulting in the hosts and vectors to change to the changed circumstances.

3. Even the Covid 19 is believed to have spread from a wildlife market in Wuhan, China.

4. There are two hypotheses about the spread of Covid 19

(i) The virus jumped from bats directly to humans.

(ii) The virus jumped from bats to pangolins and then to humans.

5. According to a study, people extensively encroach natural habitats. So, biodiversity is declining significantly.

6. By disturbing the ecological balance, we are creating ideal conditions for the spread of viruses from animals to humans.

Way forward

1. There is a need to build an environmentally responsible world.

2. ‘One health’ approach that considers the health of people, wild and domesticated animals, and the environment should be adopted.

3. We must learn to live in harmony with nature.

‘4. Strict regulation of wildlife markets, promotion of green jobs and achieving carbon neutrality should be prime motive.

5. India needs to strictly enforce the wildlife protection act, Biodiversity act, etc.

6. India needs to conserve its biodiversity on a priority basis.

7. Ecosystem integrity will regulate diseases and restrict the transmission of pathogens from one species to another.

Source: The Hindu.