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HOW DEFORESTATION INCREASES THE RISK OF PANDEMICS

Diana Chaplin | April 29, 2020 | 2 min read

HOW DEFORESTATION INCREASES THE RISK OF PANDEMICS

It's not entirely clear what makes humans susceptible to some zoonotic diseases (ie. one that can pass directly from animals to humans) but we may want to consider ourselves fortunate that this doesn't happen more often.

In the case of Covid-19 and its origin in bats, scientists have learned that they have evolved with this virus and have developed strong immune systems to withstand a variety of viruses and bacteria that could be harmful to humans.

Deforestation and other forms of encroaching on wildlife habitats puts humans at greater risk of exposure to new or potentially harmful diseases. Wet markets, where many live animals are put in close contact with each other and humans further exacerbates our risks. But these are not simple issues, as people's livelihoods and survival necessities are often connected with the actions that put us at risk.

WHAT CAUSES PANDEMICS VIDEO

Part of a new ongoing series, the One Tree Planted show is a video podcast where we interview people with unique experiences or expertise related to sustainability. Through down-to-earth conversations we explore ways that humanity can better engage with the natural world.

You can subscribe to the podcast or watch on Youtube anytime.

In today's episode, we speak to Dr. Amy Vittor and discuss human land use, deforestation, and the risk of pandemics from viruses like Covid-19.

Dr. Amy Vittor's research examines the effects of land use on vector-borne diseases. She also attends on the infectious diseases service at the University of Florida Shands hospital. We asked Dr. Vittor about the difference between Zoonotic diseases and vector-borne diseases; how human land use, wet markets, and deforestation has caused an increased risk of infectious disease; and what we can do to prevent future diseases from becoming pandemics.

Enjoy the full interview with Dr. Vittor to better understand these challenges, and join us in finding the silver lining of what brings hope for a healthier future.

Want to help combat the effects of deforestation? Plant a tree with us today!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. Today, we're raising funds to jumpstart forest fire recovery in British Columbia. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Restore landscapes damaged by a historic season of wildfires
  • Create habitat for iconic biodiversity like the moose and grizzly bear
  • Support old-growth management areas to maintain complex ecosystems
  • This reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape in British Columbia after the Hanceville fire burned over 590,000 acres in 2017 and natural regeneration has not occurred. The fire has impacted the forest, soils, riparian ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality. Local indigenous communities have seen their ability to hunt and gather food drastically altered. But your support will go a long way! The goal of planting trees here is to not only re-establish a healthy forest, but also to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • Planting trees will catalyze the process of returning the area to a forested state. Newly planted trees will begin the process of sequestering atmospheric carbon, and over time improve the hydrological benefits of the forest. The ecosystems that have been greatly simplified by extreme fire conditions will once again become complex ecosystems, This project will also create habitat for many local wildlife species including mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, wolves, sandhill cranes, various raptors, songbirds, and small mammals.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • B.C.'s rich forest diversity includes more than 40 different species of native trees, with some of Canada’s most interesting and valuable tree species. In this project, we made efforts to maximize species diversity, including the following species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce, ponderosa pine, trembling aspen.

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