Up to 84% of Vietnamese support the government to close wildlife markets and ban deforestation to prevent future pandemics, according to a recent report made by the International Organization for Conservation of Nature (WWF) and GlobalScan and announced on May 24.
This is quite a surprising number for people in the Southeast Asian country, which loves food and medicine made from wild animals.
The report “Covid-19 – A year in retrospect: Public perception of the pandemic and its connection to nature” was conducted in 5 countries, including China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. The United States found that nearly 30% of people surveyed said they had consumed less or stopped consuming wildlife altogether because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, 28% of people surveyed in China said they had reduced wildlife consumption or stopped altogether because of COVID-19. Meanwhile, this figure in Vietnam is 41% in 2020 and 39% in 2021. In contrast, in Thailand, the number almost doubles, from 21% in 2020 to 41% in 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on human activity on nature right next to our homes and families, and people are increasingly concerned and urged to take action: Addressing the major factors of zoonotic disease outbreaks,” WWF Director-General Marco Lambertini said in a statement introducing the new report, adding that the only way to prevent future pandemics is to reduce destructive human activities that take a toll on nature, such as deforestation, wildlife trade, and consumption
According to a WWF representative, “Preventing a pandemic is estimated to be 100 times less expensive than responding to a pandemic when it breaks out,” and “investing in health and nature is the only way to do it.” avoid paying a terrible economic and social cost” again in the future.
Referring to the conclusion of a recent World Health Organization (WHO) investigation, which stated that wildlife is a likely source of the Covid-19 pandemic, WWF said this year’s survey showed strong public support in all 5 countries towards governments’ efforts to close wildlife markets (with 85% support) and end deforestation (88%) caused by concerns about the root cause of zoonotic disease outbreaks.
In Vietnam alone, the number of people agreeing to close these markets is 84%.
In addition to advocating addressing the root cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, 79% of people surveyed in five countries said they were very worried about the possibility of a similar pandemic in the future.
The report said that Vietnamese people have the highest rate of concern about the pandemic out of the 5 surveyed countries, with 87% of people saying they are extremely worried or very worried about the outbreak of the pandemic, 93% of Vietnamese people expressed strong support for the “One Health” approach to prevent future pandemics.
“One Health” is an approach defined by the World Health Organization as action programs, policies, and legislation from various sectors that work together towards the goal of better health for children. people, animals, and the environment.