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Issue paper

The COVID-19 challenge: Zoonotic diseases and wildlife. Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management's four guiding principles to reduce risk from zoonotic diseases

The far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 on the entire planet have mobilized numerous calls to prevent similar pandemics in the future. Appeals have ranged from advocacy for the permanent closure of markets where wild animals may be sold, to banning all commercial use of wildlife, to significantly stepping up sanitary measures and monitoring along all food value chains. In this document, the Members of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) propose four guiding principles to assist practitioners and decision-makers in making practical and scientifically informed responses. These principles aim to reduce the risk of future pandemics originating from wild animals, at the same time as strengthening the conservation of wildlife whilst respecting livelihoods, food security and culture of diverse groups of people. The CPW promotes an integrated understanding of the complex interconnections and mutual dependencies between wildlife and people and works to increase cooperation and coordination on sustainable wildlife management issues among its members and partners. The FAO Forestry Division has served as the secretariat for the CPW since 2013 and is actively engaged in a wide range of the CPW’s initiatives as a proactive member of the Partnership.

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