Amidst the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Livestock Research Institute have released a new report exploring the rise of zoonotic disease, Preventing the next pandemic – Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission.

The report identifies seven trends driving the increasing global emergence of zoonotic disease (diseases like COVID-19, which originate in animals and are passed on to humans), specifically highlighting ‘increasing human demand for animal protein’ and ‘unsustainable agricultural intensification’ amongst the key drivers. The report also outlines ten policy recommendations to governments and businesses to reduce and prevent further outbreaks of zoonoses.

With the launch of the report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a framework to protect and sustainably use biodiversity, saying: “To prevent future outbreaks, countries need to conserve wild habitats, promote sustainable agriculture, strengthen food safety standards, monitor and regulate food markets, invest in technology to identify risks, and curb the illegal trade in wildlife.”

READ MORE: Preventing the next pandemic – Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission [UNEP]