Fostering landscape immunity to protect human health: A science-based rationale for shifting conservation policy paradigms

Jamie K. Reaser, Brooklin E. Hunt, Manuel Ruiz-Aravena, Gary M. Tabor, Jonathan A. Patz, Daniel J. Becker, Harvey Locke, Peter J. Hudson, Raina K. Plowright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anthropogenic land use change is a major driver of zoonotic pathogen spillover from wildlife to humans. According to the land use-induced spillover model, land use change alters environmental conditions that in turn alter the dynamics between zoonotic pathogens and their wildlife hosts. Thus, in response to the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the agent of COVID-19 disease), there have been renewed calls for landscape conservation as a disease preventive measure, including by the G7 Ministers responsible for Climate and the Environment. Landscape immunity, as a new construct, points to four paradigm shifts the world must favor to effectively mitigate pandemic risks. We provide a landscape immunity primer for policy makers and make the case for “world views” that place Homo sapiens within ecological systems, regard human health as an ecological service, prioritize investments in prevention, and apply ecological restoration to human health goals. Crisis is a conversation starter for reimagining and recommitting ourselves to what is most vital and generative. We urge world leaders to make the move to a nature-positive world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12869
JournalConservation Letters
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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