Congress and State Department: Take Action To Prevent Future Pandemics

  • by: WWF
  • recipient: United States Congress and Secretary of State Pompeo
Humanity's relationship with nature is broken. The fact that we are in a global pandemic is proof of that. And if we continue to destroy the natural world, outbreaks like COVID-19 — which jumped from an animal species to people — will likely become more frequent, widespread, and severe.

There are direct links between what we do to nature and the emergence of infectious diseases. We need to change how we are consuming wild animals, how we are producing food, and how we are using land.

Take action today. Send a message to Congress and the State Department asking them to take the necessary steps to help prevent future pandemics.

Photo Credit: Starting at the eye (ice cave) and going clockwise: © Nicolas Villaume / WWF-US, © Luis Barreto / WWF-UK, © Chris J Ratcliffe / WWF-UK, © Greg Armfield / WWF-UK, © Ola Jennersten / WWF-Sweden, © Luis Barreto / WWF-UK, © Neil Ever Osborne / WWF-US, © Shutterstock, © Photoshot License Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo, © Brent Stirton / Getty Images, © Global Warming Images / WWF, © Chris Johnson / WWF-Aus
To Senators, House Members, and Secretary Pompeo

We ask that as you develop US plans to address future pandemics, you prioritize efforts that tackle the root causes and can help reduce the chances of future animal-related outbreaks. Specifically, action is needed in five areas:

1. Ensure the US government is taking a whole-of-government and "One Health" approach to preventing future pandemics, working in collaboration with other nations and international institutions;

2. Support high-level diplomatic engagement and increased funding for international programs to shut down high-risk wildlife markets globally and reduce consumer demand for high-risk wildlife products;

3. Support increased funding for US government programs internationally that address the other root causes of zoonotic disease spillover, particularly those to end deforestation and the destruction of forest habitats and ensure rural communities have safe and diversified sources of food and protein;

4. Take steps to prevent high-risk wildlife and harmful zoonotic pathogens from entering the United States, including through legislation, Administrative action, and increased support to relevant US government agencies; and

5. Work with other countries to improve their food security and livestock management practices and systems in order to prevent zoonotic disease transmission.
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