World leaders will be pressed in a few weeks on measures reducing the risk of zoonotic pandemics, such as Covid-19, at a UN summit in New York.
The United Nations Summit on Biodiversity is now scheduled for September 30th, where the link between degrading nature and the risk of disease spillover, from wildlife to people, will be explored.
Economic success, undermined by the current pandemic, and healthy biodiversity will be discussed at length.
More than half of the world’s gross domestic product depends on nature, through pollination, water quality, and natural materials. And more than 75% of important global food crops depend at least in part on animal pollinators, whose declines around the world threaten food security.
Governments must incentivise sustainable economic practice
Around 70 per cent of drugs used for cancer are natural or synthetic products inspired by nature.
And, while more than three billion people depend on marine biodiversity for their livelihoods, more than one-third of fish stocks urgently need recovery.
National economic policies generally favour activities that cause the loss of biodiversity. This needs to shift toward incentives and pricing that delivers more positive ecological, economic and social outcomes, according to the UN.
The traditional business aspiration of perpetual economic growth will be challenged as new metrics for measuring wealth are explored. Tracking constant growth is not considered useful to measuring living well.