Preventing the Next Pandemic UNEP Report UPSC

Preventing the Next Pandemic | UNEP Report | UPSC


75% emerging infectious diseases zoonotic: UN Report

      WHY IN NEWS:

Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission was released on July 6, 2020, celebrated as ‘World Zoonoses Day’.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Zoonotic Diseases : Reports : UNEP


For PRELIMS go through the title and the publisher . Just make key points to recollect this article .

For MAINS go through the 10 point recommendations given below . It is important . Let us dive in !


Document emphasises on importance of a ‘One-Health’ approach to manage and prevent zoonotic disease outbreaks and pandemics

Factory farming of livestock has led to the emergence of newer zoonotic diseases. Photo: Flickr

Factory farming of livestock has led to the emergence of newer zoonotic diseases. Photo: Flickr Factory farming of livestock has led to the emergence of newer zoonotic diseases. 


Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
Preventing the Next Pandemic UNEP Report


  • About 60 per cent of known infectious diseases in humans and 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic.

Zoonosis or zoonotic disease is a disease that has passed into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species.

  • Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections.

HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Lyme Disease, malaria, rabies, West Nile fever, and the current novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disease.

The report identified seven anthropogenic driving factors leading to the emergence of zoonotic diseases —

  1. Increased demand for animal protein.
  2. Rise in intense and unsustainable farming.
  3. The increased use and exploitation of wildlife.
  4. Unsustainable utilisation of natural resources.
  5. Travel and transportation.
  6. Changes in food supply chains and the climate change crisis.


  • GROWING DEMAND : The growing demand for animal-derived food has encouraged the intensification and industrialisation of animal production.
  • ANIMAL BREEDING : a large number of genetically similar animals are bred in for higher productivity and disease resistance.
  • FARMING PRACTISES : Intensive farm settings cause them to be raised in close proximity to each other, in less ideal conditions characterised by limited biosecurity and animal husbandry,
  • WASTE MANAGMENT : Poor waste management and use of antimicrobials as substitute for these conditions.
  • ANTI- MICROBIAL RESISTANCES : High use of antimicrobials in such farm settings is also contributing to the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • FOREST COVER : Moreover, loss of forest cover for agricultural purposes such as growing of soy, used as a key constituent of animal feed, is also influencing the emergence of zoonotic diseases by increasing human access to wildlife.
  • WILDLIFE EXPLOITATION : The increased use and exploitation of wildlife can bring humans in closer contact with wild animals.

Thus increasing the risk of zoonotic disease emergence.


  1. Harvesting of wild animals for meat.
  2. Hunting and consumption of wildlife for recreation.
  3. Trading of live animals for recreational use or research.
  4. Use of animal parts for decorative.
  5. Medical or commercial purposes.


  • Utilisation of natural resources owing to urbanisation, changes in land-use pattern and growing industrialisation can also cause destruction and fragmentation of wildlife habitats and increase contact between humans and wildlife.
  • The UNEP and ILRI emphasised on the importance of a ‘One-Health’ approach to manage and prevent zoonotic disease outbreaks and pandemics, occurring at the interface of human, animal and environment health.

The report made ten recommendations based on the One Health approach that could aid a coordinated multi-sectoral response to future pandemics.


  1. AWARENESS : Raising awareness of zoonotic diseases.
  2. ONE HEALTH : Investing in interdisciplinary approaches, including One Health.
  3. SCIENTIFIC ENQUIRY : Expanding scientific enquiry into zoonotic diseases.
  4. IMPACT ASSESSMENT : Improving cost-benefit analyses of interventions to include full-cost accounting of societal impacts of disease.
  5. BEST PRACTISES : Strengthening monitoring and regulation practices associated with zoonotic diseases, including food systems.
  6. SUSTAINABLE CHOICES : Incentivising sustainable land management practices and developing alternatives for food security and livelihoods that do not rely on the destruction of habitats and biodiversity.
  7. IMPROVING BIOSECURITY : Identifying key drivers of emerging diseases in animal husbandry and encouraging proven management and zoonotic disease control measures.
  8. SUSTAINABLE CO-EXISTENCE : Supporting the sustainable management of landscapes and seascapes that enhance sustainable co-existence of agriculture and wildlife.
  9. CAPACITY BUILDING : Strengthening capacities among health stakeholders in all countries and

Operationalising the One Health approach in land-use and sustainable development planning, implementation and monitoring, among other fields.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

We must also begin to re-think our relationship with food, how it is grown and what impacts in can have on us and our environment.

  • It is time we opt for sustainable methods of food production and reduce dependence on intensive systems to preserve health and ecosystems.

Pandemics are devastating to our lives and our economies, and as we have seen over the past months, it is the poorest and the most vulnerable who suffer the most.

  • To prevent future outbreaks, we must become much more deliberate about protecting our natural environment

It may be the worst, but it is not the first.

     SOURCES:DownToEarth | Preventing the Next Pandemic | UNEP Report | UPSC


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