Covid raged – but nature gave hope

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Nature has had its ups and downs in 2021, and Conservation News was there for it all. This month, we revisit some of the most significant stories of the past year.

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged, many asked the same question: How to prevent future outbreaks? The key, scientists say, is to protect nature.

In 2021, Conservation News covered how nature has helped communities stay afloat during the pandemic – and why conservation is essential for public health. Here are some of our most read stories of the year.

Dr Neil Vora, an epidemiologist at Conservation International, has dedicated his career to fighting infectious diseases – from Ebola-affected villages in West Africa to the streets of New York as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged its communities. What he learned: Humanity’s continued assault on the environment could trigger another pandemic – and soon.

Read more here.

As governments chart their course for a cure from COVID-19, protecting nature will be key to preventing the spread of future zoonotic outbreaks, experts say. However, in a bid to revive their economies and create jobs, many countries around the world have either reduced or eliminated areas set aside for nature conservation – some for drilling for fossil fuels, others for urban development. , according to research from Conservation International.

Read more here.

The pandemic has claimed lives – and livelihoods. But in the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, where the Amazon rainforest meets the Andes, funds from carbon credits have provided a lifeline for conservation – and the coffee-growing families who live in the forest. Conservation News told a coffee farmer how his community’s cooperative was able to reduce deforestation and achieve record sales, sparing them much of the economic devastation that has plagued Peru’s towns and villages.

Read more here.

Even as the coronavirus spread across Africa, local governments and communities in the Chyulu Hills of southeast Kenya generated enough income to hire additional guards to tackle poaching – and have done quite a bit. other investments in their own long-term food security, health and well-being. How? ‘Or’ What? By protecting and restoring forests.

Read more here.

As deforestation in the Amazon increases, the risk of disease transmission from wildlife to humans increases, according to a study by Conservation International. We chatted with Conservation International scientist Lee Hannah, lead author of the study, about the links between infectious disease outbreaks and nature – and how we can prevent the next pandemic from emerging from the world’s largest rainforest. .

Read more here.

Cover image: Young trees in a nursery in the protected forest of Alto Mayo, Peru (© Thomas Muller)


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