This first session from a series of online webinars explores the proximal and distal causes of the pandemic and the complex relation between infections, climate and other global environmental change. How do global environmental changes such as biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and urbanization facilitate the occurrence of new epidemics or modulate their public health impact?
- Introduction to the series. COVID-19 and Planetary Health (Josep M Antó, ISGlobal)
- The Day After (Oriana Ramírez, ISGlobal)
- Global environmental pollution and resilience to infections (David Savitz, Brown University, USA)
- Land use change and biodiversity loss – the scenario for COVID-19 (Fernando Valladares, CSIC)
- Lessons from SARS, Ebola, Nipah – how our relationship with other animals got us here (Júlia Vergara, IRTA-CRESA)
- Moderated discussion (15 min). Moderator: Cathryn Tonne
This is the first of a series of online webinars featuring presentations from area experts and moderated discussion to foster knowledge exchange across a broad audience. It is offered by ISGlobal and the Day After (el Día Después in Spanish) platform, and is oriented to a general scientific audience. It will be in English.
COVID-19, Global Environmental Change, and Opportunities to Progress Towards the SDGs
The emergence of a new global pandemic had been predicted. It was a question of when rather than if or how it would occur given increased understanding of how habitat disruption and the live animal trade increase risk of zoonotic pathogens from wild animals. These human activities, compounded by the increase in international air travel and weakened public health systems, created ideal conditions for the emergence and rapid transmission of a new virus. Previous warnings went largely unheeded. As the pandemic unfolds, most societies find themselves unprepared and paying extraordinary costs in terms of lives, overwhelmed health systems, and contracting economies.
In response, we are seeing unprecedented levels of cooperation, with individuals radically changing their behavior, often despite high personal cost, to address a collective threat. This critical inflection point provides new hope: urgent, coordinated action to protect human and planetary health is achievable. The vast human suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences must not be in vain, but rather deliver a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future.
ISGlobal and the Day After (el Día Después in Spanish) platform present a series of online webinars featuring presentations from area experts and moderated discussion to foster knowledge exchange across a broad audience.
The objectives of the series are to:
- highlight interlinkages between global environmental change and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- identify near-term priorities for protecting public health in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences; and
- identify how the COVID-19 pandemic presents new opportunities and challenges for meeting the SDGs and the most effective communication strategies to accelerate progress towards sustainable development.
The main outputs from the webinar series include:
- a report identifying key scientific knowledge gaps important for supporting decision making; and
- information briefs to feed into the Day After’s actions focused on knowledge translation and amplification to maximize impact in society.