PHaJI Author: Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH
Earth systems are under ever greater pressure from human population expansion and intensifying natural resource use. Consequently, novel micro-organisms that cause disease are emerging, dynamics of pathogens in wildlife are altered by land use change bringing wildlife and people in closer contact. We provide a brief overview of the processes governing ‘land use-induced spillover’, emphasising ecological conditions that foster ‘landscape immunity’ and reduce the likelihood of wildlife that host pathogens coming into contact with people. If ecosystems remain healthy, wildlife , and people are more likely to remain healthy too. We recommend practices to reduce the risk of future pandemics through protected and conserved area management. Our proposals reinforce existing conservation strategies while elevating biodiversity conservation as a priority health measure. Pandemic prevention requires that human health be regarded as an ecological service. We call on multi-lateral conservation frameworks to recognise that protected area managers are in the frontline of public health safety.
Reaser JK, Tabor GM, Becker DJ, Muruthi P, Witt A , Woodley SJ, Ruiz-Aravena M, Patz JA, Hickey V, Hudson PJ, Locke H, Plowright RK. Land Use-induced Spillover: Priority Actions for Protected and Conserved Area Managers. PARKS (2020, November 24). https://doi.org/10.32942/osf.io/bmfhw