As industrial development and intensive farming expand across Asia-Pacific, the deforestation, forest fragmentation and habitat destruction they result in are driving humans and wildlife into close contact, the risk for the next virus to spill over from wildlife to humans also grows.
Once the world’s most densely forested areas, throughout recent decades the Greater Mekong has lost a third of its forest cover to rapid unsustainable development. It stands to lose another 15-30 million hectares by 2030 unless immediate action is taken, posing a great threat not only to biodiversity in the region, but also to global public health.
At WWF, our goal is to protect forests and other natural habitats, and with the support of partners, we are:
- Maintaining forest intactness and restoring fragmented forest landscapes to conserve the wildlife they’re home to
- Increasing forest cover by encouraging Forest Landscape Restoration including assisted natural regeneration and the sustainable plantation of fruit trees and natural trees and other approaches
- Engaging local communities living around protected areas in the conservation of their forests and resources
- Monitoring deforestation and identifying at areas at risk