As the coronavirus pandemic continues and the Delta variant causes a new wave of COVID-19 cases, the non-governmental organization (NGO) End Pandemics looks to the future health of the planet by preventing pandemics by ending animal trafficking and protecting nature.
In a presentation at the Green Lake Country Dems and Friends reunion last week on Saturday, End Pandemics co-chair Steve Galster explained that the NGO believes there is no greater cause in our lives than prevention of future pandemics.
End Pandemics is working with this year’s Freeland Film Festival to promote the NGO’s mission and showcase solutions to prevent zoonotic outbreaks.
As many countries prepare for the next pandemic, Galster argues that efforts need to be more focused on preventing further pandemics.
“The experts are talking about how we’re doing quite lightly this time around compared to what might happen if it happened again, and it’s likely that it will if we don’t address the causes,” he said. -he declares.
Galster explained how COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, which means it started in animals and has been transmitted to humans. Zoonotic diseases are transmitted to humans when people handle wildlife, most often through the trade in wildlife and destruction of natural habitats.
“These wildlife markets are time bombs and the way we destroy habitats essentially repels animals,” he said. “It’s the most effective way to put them in close contact with people. “
One of the primary ways humans destroy habitats is by creating farmland, which also brings people closer to animals, putting humans at risk for zoonotic diseases, Galster explained.
Zoonotic epidemics occur when animals transmit diseases common to humans whose immune systems do not have the pathogens to deal with foreign diseases.
Galster said COVID-19 has fortunately connected people across the world to recognize the problem of zoonotic diseases and the need to prevent pandemics.
“We have to prevent future epidemics because everyone is just talking about where it came from and the vaccines, but we are going to start over unless we tackle the root causes,” he said.
End Pandemics was established in February 2020 with the aim of preventing future pandemics by protecting nature and stopping wildlife trafficking.
End Pandemics is an organization with four pillars of action: reducing demand, protecting nature, stopping trafficking and reforming agriculture.
The four pillars all work for the common goal of investing in the health of the planet by dramatically reducing the risk of future zoonotic epidemics by banning the commercial trade of wild animals, transforming food supply systems with regenerative agriculture and giving priority to the protection of nature.
Galster explained that pandemic prevention measures are much cheaper than reactionary efforts.
“The financial bill we receive from COVID-19 continues to rise and it will amount to at least $ 11 trillion,” said Galster. “On average, this represents $ 54 billion per country in the world. It is bigger than the GDP of some countries.
In order to return to a sense of normalcy and ditch masks for good, Galster said countries should focus their budgets on preventing pandemics through nature conservation.
“This is really what the world needs to focus on because it is an issue of international security,” he said.
Through the ‘Roadmap to End Pandemics’, the NGO works with lawmakers and nonprofits around the world to protect nature and stop wildlife trafficking.
End Pandemics also holds informative presentations around the world to educate people on the need to prevent future pandemics.
One of these presentations is scheduled for Thursday, September 2. Freeland partners with the Vatican, The Independent and United for Regeneration to educate world leaders on pandemic prevention while protecting nature. The presentation will be broadcast live.
This year’s Freeland Film Festival in Green Lake adopted the theme “A Better World: Beyond Pandemics” to work with End Pandemics and disseminate its mission.
The festival will take place on September 10 and 11 and will feature films and a series of panels in the Town Square Ballroom on solutions to prevent pandemics.
More information about End Pandemic’s prevention efforts can be found on its website, www.EndPandemics.earth.