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[ARTICLE] ABC Founder Dr. Lovejoy: To prevent pandemics, stop disrespecting nature

National Geographic Magazine published an op-ed by ABC Founder Dr. Thomas Lovejoy in which he draws the connection between the current coronavirus pandemic and the global loss of biological diversity. He uses a well-understood example in the spread of jungle yellow fever:

"[W]hile watching woodsmen bring down a tree in the Colombian rainforest, Boshell had seen them suddenly surrounded by little blue mosquitoes: Haemagogus, the known transmitters of jungle yellow fever. Normally those mosquitoes live only in the canopy and bite monkeys. They were getting a chance to bite humans because humans had felled their home."

Unlike many of our current global crises, all of us can have a hand in protecting and nurturing biodiversity where we live while supporting policies here, abroad, and at the global level that recognize and support human's intrinsic connection with nature.

Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, Nat Geo Image Collection

"The lesson for humanity from this pandemic is not to be afraid of nature, but rather to restore it, embrace it, and understand how to live with and benefit from it. All that biodiversity is essentially a gigantic library of solutions, pretested by natural selection and evolution, to various biological challenges."

(Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, Nat Geo Image Collection)

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