Preventing pandemics, like that of the new coronavirus, can be up to 100 times cheaper than remedying them. This is what a report on biodiversity and pandemics points out, signed by 22 experts from around the world, released on Thursday (29) by an entity linked to the United Nations (UN).
Prepared by the Intergovernmental Platform for Scientific Policies on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the study estimates that the current pandemic cost the world economy between $ 8 trillion and $ 16 trillion by July.
According to the authors of the research, this astronomical amount could be drastically reduced, if there was a greater adoption of preventive measures, such as repressing the trade in wild animals, which carry viruses or bacteria capable of infecting humans.
The document suggests that the cost of reducing risks may be much less than the amount spent looking for a cure for health crises. “Escaping the pandemic era requires a much greater focus on prevention, in addition to reaction,” say IPBES experts.
In addition to combating wildlife trafficking, the report suggests several other practices. One of them is the creation of a high-level intergovernmental council, which would coordinate actions to contain new outbreaks quickly.
He also recommends changes in eating habits, including decreasing meat consumption, reducing contact with animals that can transmit diseases. The researchers even mention the possibility of increasing taxes on meat, to make access to it more difficult.
Another measure mentioned is to protect tropical forests and other rich ecosystems, avoiding the destruction of nature, which is also important to slow climate change.
In the survey, led by zoologist Peter Daszak, there is still some criticism of current strategies for dealing with covid-19. According to the authors, being basically dependent on the development of vaccines to fight diseases is a big mistake.