Importance of the issue
Wildlife is an important and integral part of biodiversity, which is one of the foundations of the health of humanity. It is also a source of known and unknown pathogens, some of which have the potential to become pandemic in humans. However, it is not wildlife itself that poses the risk, but the interface between wildlife and people and human behaviour. Indeed, human behaviour offers many critical control points that we can influence to prevent or promote the spread of pathogens from wildlife and protect it for future generations.
Better integrate wildlife health into One Health and animal health strategies. Guidance will be developed to address the risks of pathogen emergence and spread through wildlife trade and along the supply chain.
To achieve behavioural change by reducing both demand for and trade in wildlife specimens and products. Where such contact and consumption of wildlife cannot or should not be avoided, the working group will help identify ways to limit any negative impacts on human health, biodiversity and sustainable co-existence.
Importance of the working group for the Selva Maya
As the Selva Maya continuously faces threats to its ecosystems - such as unplanned human settlements, extensive cattle ranching, illegal hunting and wildlife trade - the human population, as well as domestic animals, come into increasingly close contact with wildlife.
This scenario not only causes a significant decline in populations of jaguars, peccaries, macaws and other already endangered species, but also poses a health risk to local populations due to diseases that can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of meat from these animals or simple contact with them. The latter risk is compounded by the fact that the population in the region has little information on how to avoid the risks described above. In addition, the capacity of health systems to monitor and respond to disease outbreaks is weak.