Why does man depend on biological diversity

Corona: The next pandemic also depends on how we deal with the species

Society is discussing whether people can finally relax again, in other words: can gradually lift the corona lockdown. Meanwhile, a day is approaching that will probably be completely lost in the debates: International Biodiversity Day on May 22nd. Nevertheless, there is a connection between him and Corona.

Kitschy, self-centered look

Humans like to concentrate on their own kind. Most of us have no use for biodiversity unless our own food sources are threatened or a disease could jump over. When the meadow in front of the house disappears, you regret that you can hardly see birds, bees and butterflies. When the wetland dries up, suddenly the storks, which always brooded so picturesquely in the nest on the roof, no longer come.

Our view of nature is often self-centered and easily kitsched. But we have to widen our view. Because we humans form a unit with all animal and plant species around us, even with the unloved fat toad and countless animals that we do not even see. And when conservationists predict that a million species will disappear in the next few decades, then it concerns us very personally. Our own livelihoods depend on the ecosystems functioning.

Habitats are shrinking

These are at risk everywhere: from deforestation, overfishing, pollution, urban growth, intensive agriculture and climate change. Wherever habitats for other species are shrinking or where animal husbandry is not appropriate to the species, other pathogens - such as Sars-CoV-2 - threaten to jump from animals to humans, regardless of the route. This does not have to lead to a pandemic. But it is possible. We should do something about that.