Every year the world celebrates World Environment Day on 5 June, a day dedicated to focusing efforts of the governments, businesses and citizens on pressing environmental issues.
This year’s theme is biodiversity — a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. However, nature is sending us a message. There is an urgent and existential concern due to recent events around the world from bushfires to locust infestations to a global pandemic. All of those demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist.
The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Today, it is estimated that, globally, about one billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from diseases caused by coronaviruses; and about 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic, meaning that they are transmitted to people by animals.