January 2021 marked a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, with over two million people dead. Since the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerged on the global stage in early 2020, an historical and unprecedented effort has been deployed to quell this global health crisis. As we settle into a new year with increased optimism following the successful development of vaccines against COVID-19, we are turning our sights toward the future, with critical policy questions in mind.
Why are scientists warning about the threats of new pandemics? What structures can we put in place to prevent the next global pandemic? What is the role of land health in preventing future emerging infectious diseases? Check out the latest installment of the UNCCD Science-policy weblog from the co-chair of the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface Nichole Barger who is exploring these and other questions.
Figure 1. Relative risk distribution of zoonotic EID events (Source: Allen, T., Murray, K.A., Zambrana-Torrelio, C. et al. Global hotspots and correlates of emerging zoonotic diseases. Nat Commun. 8, 1124 (2017).