Deforestation and emerging diseases

Deforestation and emerging diseases

Deforestation is pushing animals and humans closer together, increasing the risk of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 passing from animals to humans.

Destroying forests has a direct impact on human health. Every six seconds in 2019, we cut down a piece of primary tropical rainforest the size of a football pitch.

As well as the catastrophic consequences for our climate and environment, deforestation increases our exposure to zoonotic diseases that transfer from animals to humans, such as HIV/AIDS, Zika, Ebola and COVID-19.

Our video explains how, as we cut down forests, we destroy natural habitats. This forces animals and humans to live closer together, creating potentially deadly risks to human health.

At the United Nation’s first ever biodiversity summit in October 2020, Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said that the unprecedented level of species loss and damage to wildlife and nature means that humans are “the most dangerous species in global history.”

To protect ourselves, we must protect our planet.