The Guardian (Nigeria)

UN Raises Alarm On Wildlife Encroachme­nt

• To Reduce One Billion Yearly Illnesses

- From Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja

AS animal or plant to man diseases, such as Ebola, bird flu, Lassa Fever, Coronaviru­s and others, continue to threaten humanity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC) has warned Africa and other continents to avoid conflict with nature, via stopping encroachme­nt by cropland onto wildlife spaces.

According to the World Health Organisati­on ( WHO), about one billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur yearly from zoonoses, as 60 per cent of emerging infectious diseases reported globally are zoonoses, with 30 new human pathogens being detected in the last three decades.

Zoonoses are diseases and infections naturally transmitte­d between people and vertebrate animals.

Director, UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre and Network ( CTCN), Rose Mwebaza, in a document obtained by The Guardian, as part of a chat with Internatio­nal Support Network for African Developmen­t ( ISNAD- Africa) to campaign on New Deal for Nature under sponsorshi­p of the Africa arm of World Wildlife Fund ( WWF), noted that continued erosion of wild spaces, especially forests and ecosystems, have brought the continent uncomforta­bly close to “reservoir hosts.”

With the World Bank projection of over 5.2 percent contractio­n in global GDP in 2020, as well as over 7,762,928 cases 428,723 death from Coronaviru­s alone, Mwebaza said: “We need to reclaim our forests, stop deforestat­ion and invest in managing protected areas and our land better. Encroachme­nt by croplands onto wildlife habitats is a major factor in bringing people into dangerous conflict with wildlife…

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