Green Pulse Podcast: Time to nurture nature to prevent future pandemics

In our Green Pulse podcast, we host Dr Peter Daszak, president of non-profit Washington-based Ecohealth Alliance, as he explains how climate change and biodiversity disruption will increase risk of future pandemics.
In our Green Pulse podcast, we host Dr Peter Daszak, president of non-profit Washington-based Ecohealth Alliance, as he explains how climate change and biodiversity disruption will increase risk of future pandemics. PHOTO: COURTESY OF DR PETER DASZAK

Green Pulse Ep 37: Why time's running out to nurture nature to prevent future pandemics

13:10 mins

Synopsis: The Straits Times analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change.

In this episode, ST’s environment correspondent Audrey Tan and climate change editor David Fogarty host Dr Peter Daszak, president of non-profit Washington-based Ecohealth Alliance.

A report linking environmental damage and pandemics was recently published based on the findings of a major meeting hosted by IPBES, the UN biodiversity panel. The authors, including Dr Daszak, found that future pandemics will happen more often, kill more people and wreak even worse damage to the global economy than Covid-19. What can be done to reduce the risks of future pandemics?

They discuss the following points:

  1. How a recent scientific report shows increasing risk of new infectious diseases and pandemics in this globalised world (1:00)

  2. This report estimates another 1.7 million undiscovered viruses that exist in animals and why up to 850,000 of them can infect people (3:43)

  3. Why there needs to be a global programme to prevent pandemics instead of reacting to them after: Can health risks within wildlife trade and even consumer consumption habits be controlled? (8:33)

  4. Weighing the costs of prevention programmes against global economic damages from pandemics and why time is running out (10:06)

Produced by: Audrey Tan (audreyt@sph.com.sg), David Fogarty (dfogarty@sph.com.sg) & Ernest Luis

Edited by: Adam Azlee

Subscribe to Green Pulse Podcast series and rate us on your favourite audio apps:

Channel: https://str.sg/JWaf

Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWaY

Spotify: https://str.sg/JWag

Google Podcasts: https://str.sg/J6EV 

Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

Follow Audrey Tan on Twitter: https://str.sg/JLMB

Read her stories: https://str.sg/JLM2

Follow David Fogarty  on Twitter: https://str.sg/JLM6

Read his stories: https://str.sg/JLMu