Muriel Vervaeke / Expert wildlife disease management

Agency for Nature and Forests / Wildlife epidemiology & wildlife ecology

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

In my field of expertise I notice that climate change has an impact on the spread of invasieve species and on the spread of wildife diseases.
The last decade, we note in Europe an increase in the spread of wildlife vectors (e.g. ticks and mosquitoes) and wildlife pathogens. An example are emerging vector-borne zoonotic infections, what results in an increasing threat to human health and animal health.
In my own personal way of life I aim to reduce the ecological footprint and energy consumption of myself and familiy, e.g. by maximal using bicycle and public transport, reducing transport with car and airplanes, by reducing the consumption of meat in my family, by buying local food and reducing imported goods, by using recycled and local manufactured materials in the construction of our house, short and not daily showers with a reducing-water-shower, to reduce the use of plastic materials (bags, food, toys, cooking and home stuff, …), using drinking bottles, …
When aiming at lowering the ecological footprint and energy consumption of myself and familiy, there are some difficulties: it is cheaper and easier to cook a meal with (too cheap) meat than a vegetarian meal, it is difficult to resist the cheap airplane-tickets to explore the world, ecological sustainable clothing, food and building materials are much expensive than others, …
We need urgently key changes in society and at political level, such as:

  • taxation of big companies and big capital cfr. Piketty and using this taxation income for sustainable developmentadopt
  • a carbon tax to reduce the burning of fossil fuels: to reduce emissions of transport (boat, plane, car), industry, green houses, …
  • stop the chopping down of nature forests and replanting forests
  • decrease meat production,
  • better spatial planning (e.g. put an end to ribbon development), increasing the densification of our nuclei
  • introduce a tax on all goods (transport, meat and other food, …) based on the ecological footprint and energy-need for the production of the goods, not only for the producers but also for the consumers
  • better international agreements (higher reduction in carbon emission, border carbon adjustments)
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