How to Prevent the Next Pandemic: Nature Based Solutions and Policy Opportunities

Reducing the risk of future pandemics requires investment in prevention, preparedness, and response. However, primary pandemic prevention (preventing zoonotic spillover) has been largely absent in global conversations, policy guidance, and practice in part because there is a lack of a clear definition of prevention and lack of clear guidance on how to do this. Ecological countermeasures—actions that protect and restore wildlife habitat or mitigate wildlife-human interactions—provide many benefits including preventing pandemics at the source. Such action is critical, and we believe, our best path forward, because as the effects of anthropogenic change increase, the risk of pandemics will, too.

Moderated by award-winning science writer, David Quammen, opening statement by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove ’99 (WHO), and hosted by Dr. Raina Plowright (Cornell),this panel-style webinar with ten global and cross-disciplinary experts, offers a summary of the key strategies for pandemic prevention including the fundamental drivers of pandemics, the strategies we can take to prevent them, and the current policy opportunities for primary pandemic prevention.

What You’ll Learn:

How pandemics start and how human activity and environmental change increase the risk of virus spillover from animals to humansHow we can stop spillover events by addressing the fundamental drivers of spillover through ecological countermeasuresHow key strategic ecological countermeasures (outside of the current general guidance to “prevent deforestation”) can be deployed along with medical countermeasures (e.g., vaccines) as a pandemic prevention strategyHow pandemics solutions intersect climate change and biodiversity loss solutionsEffective and clear recommendations for policy makers to integrate pandemic prevention alongside global preparedness efforts


Openning remarks: Maria Van Kerkhove ’99, COVID-19 Technical Lead & Emerging Diseases and
Zoonoses Lead, WHOModerator: David Quammen, Science WriterHost & Panelist Raina Plowright, Professor of Disease Ecology & Cornell Atkinson Scholar, Cornell UniversityPanelist: DeeAnn Reeder, Professor, Bucknell UniversityPanelist: Teague O’Mara, Director od Conservation Evidence, Bat Conservation InternationalPanelist: Abi Vanak, Director, Centre for Policy DesignPanelist: Iroro Tanshi, Co-Founder, Small Mammal Conservation Organization, NigeriaPanelist: Aliyu Nuhu Ahmed, Doctoral Candidate, London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicinePanelist: Neil Vora, Pandemic Prevention Fellow, Conservation InternationalPanelist: Benjamin Roche, Research Director, French Research Institute for Sustainable Development

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