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Report2023Open access

How loss of biodiversity compromises human and animal health

Di Luca, Chiara


Biodiversity affects the health and well-being of humans, animals and the environment. The holistic One Health approach allows to examine these correlations under various aspects: loss of biodiversity and human health, loss of biodiversity and animal health, loss of biodiversity and social and economic repercussions, with consequences on the well-being of humans and animals. Thanks to increased awareness of biodiversity and its integration into the One Health approach, the level of biodiversity could serve as a parameter to assess health risks, prevent environmental damage and protect indigenous peoples or local communities that strongly depend on it. Furthermore, greater awareness of biodiversity could improve the community's perception of wild animals, often represented as the main source of zoonotic diseases or labelled as dangerous, and reflect on the role of viruses, bacteria and parasites in the emergence and re emergence of infectious diseases. In fact, the emergence of diseases does not exclusively concern the relationship between domestic animals or wild animals and humans, but as the Convention on Biological Diversity states, it concerns "the complexity of the system as a whole and the interactions between biotic and abiotic components". If gene and species diversity are compromised or even lost, and natural habitats are degraded, the complexity of the whole system is altered and new opportunities for disease emergence are created (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2017). In conclusion, it would be necessary to combine strategies that manage the human-wild animal conflict and those that aim to preserve biodiversity, in order to protect the ecosystem, not to lose the services it offers and to limit the spread of disease pathogens.

Published in

Rapport (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa)
2023, number: 63
Publisher: Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Permanent link to this page (URI)