Stop Spillover at the Source: Evidence-based Strategies for the Pandemic Era

The devastating human and economic losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the lives of people throughout the world. In building back better, we reimagine a new world in which we collaborate creatively with current and new partners and carefully consider the interacting drivers of emerging infectious diseases.

This overarching strategy frames a way forward for WWF and partners, prioritizing interventions that deliver the greatest potential leverage in the zoonoses system to prevent future pandemics by stopping spillover at its source. This framework is based on a systems analysis of zoonoses and engagement with experts and draws on the WWF internal science brief, Beyond Boundaries.

Systems analytics allow us to deeply understand the underlying, nonlinear dynamics that give rise to the spillovers of animal disease into human populations. We describe those dynamic feedback loops and identify the relevance of conservation in disrupting the primary drivers, and we lay out a portfolio of interventions for conservation. The interventions are those with the highest potential to deliver on our aspirational vision for a better, more equitable world. Our eye remains on the aspiring vision for a whole-planet shift to humans and nature living in harmony.