Zoonotic disease in the face of rapidly changing human–nature interactions in the Anthropocene

Book Chapter
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There has been renewed interest in the challenges and implications of zoonotic diseases due to the recent global COVID-19 pandemic. In the 'Anthropocene', or age dominated by humans, we have seen a devastating impact on intact and wild ecosystems, and an increase in human managed ecosystems. Based on a literature review, this chapter argues that such expansion has caused a loss of diversity and a lack of resilience of ecosystems. Consequently, more zoonotic diseases are entering human society. We have a created a diagram showing the possible ways that zoonotic diseases are transferred to humans, and the chapter outlines some examples of such diseases and their links to unsustainable land use practices. The chapter argues that while knowledge about this challenging situation is scattered and research is very limited, it hopes to stimulate debate and encourage more research so that we can address this difficult challenge for global society.

Binaya Kumar