WCS Issues Report on Official Development Assistance

June 29, 2020

New York, NY—The current pandemic underscores the need to understand the social, economic, and ecological conditions that drive the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases, with the aim of reducing the likelihood of future zoonotic outbreaks and pandemics.

While we recognize the need for preparedness and well-coordinated rapid responses to prevent spread, we focus our recommendations on the areas where we have relevant expertise and insights. There is substantial evidence that the loss and degradation of natural ecosystems and the commercial trade of wild animals for human consumption—especially in urban markets—increase the chance of spillover of zoonotic diseases to humans.

Successful intervention to significantly decrease the probability of zoonotic disease spillover to people will require a set of interventions strategically targeted at multiple levels and scales. In this report, we outline a set of key recommendations and areas for investment:

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