When the planet sneezes, we all catch a cold

Mand med maske
Pille Riis Priske/ Unsplash.com
The fact that we in the Nordic Region are part of a larger world has perhaps never been felt more strongly than during this coronavirus pandemic. After the virus was detected in Wuhan, it took only a few weeks for bars to close in Copenhagen and Reykjavik.

Researchers believe that the coronavirus originates in nature. When wild animals are pushed away from their natural environments, such as through deforestation, climate change, or when traded in animal markets, the come closer to people and spread previously unknown infections. 

There is a risk of wild animals transmitting infections to humans also when they are captured for their meat or skin. 

The UN environmental programme UNEP believes that never before have there been so many opportunities for animal infections to be transmitted to humans.

Preserving nature and restoring what has been destroyed is crucial for wildlife and plants, as well as for humans and the climate. We know that a diverse nature is important for ecosystem resilience.


  • According to the UN biodiversity science panel, 290 million hectares of the world’s ancient forests have been cut down since 1990. 
  • Half a million of the planet’s terrestrial lack sufficiently large habitats to ensure their long-term survival.  

Here’s what you can do:

  • Don’t buy things made from threatened wildlife and plants, either at home or abroad.
  • Get involved in nature, biodiversity, and the climate by taking part in democratic debate, youth organisations, and environmental organisations!
  • Play your part in ensuring that the new global goals for biodiversity lead to real change.

Start by getting your friends together, and then read on and formulate your opinions in the toolkit for knowledge and change. The message will be passed on in the ongoing negotiations on new global goals for biodiversity. 

Or why engage in discussion with other Nordic young people who care about the environment in the Nordic Youth Biodiversity Network on Facebook?