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Why This Matters: The world has faced many major pandemics, such as SARS and now COVID-19, that are believed to have been spread from human contact with wild animals. Laws against selling endangered animals have not been enforced, even when past disease outbreaks led to a temporary closure of wildlife markets. But a real ban from both these countries that have major wildlife trading could begin the trend toward an effective solution. To prevent future crises, restrictions on trade must continue after the end of the pandemic and the new laws must be enforced. This will require a difficult cultural change because many people go to wildlife markets to buy “status symbols, pets, food or to be used in traditional medicines. But if a devastating global pandemic doesn’t create the impetus for the changes needed to prevent the next one, what will?
There is No Easy Solution but Habitat Protection Can Help
“I think it’s quite clear that the rapid rate of biodiversity loss is a measure of how much we’re disturbing the living world upon which our health depends,” said Aaron Bernstein (director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital). “People get really upset when the stock market takes massive punches. Well, if people think the stock market is a measure of human welfare, magnify that by a millionfold and look at the amount of life we share the planet with. Then you have something to really be concerned about.”
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Almost 1,000 of Florida’s manatees have died as of Oct.1 this year, setting a tragic record for the most deaths in a year, with two months left to go. Deaths were largely caused by starvation — the predator-less sea cows typically spend hours a day eating seagrass, but declining […]
Do you have a good eye? Are you surprisingly good at Where’s Waldo and like Walruses? If so, we have great opportunity for you! The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is seeking volunteers to help count Atlantic walruses…from space. Sea ice is retreating fast as global temperatures rise, forcing walruses to crowd on smaller floes […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer At a UN conference in Kunming, China, President Xi Jinping set aside $230 million to form a fund that preserves biodiversity in developing countries. This announcement was made at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity talks (COP15) which are dedicated to preserving delicate ecosystems and preventing plants and animals […]
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