Webinar: Exploring Restoration, Rewilding, and Human Health


Location: Online


Over recent decades, there has been increasing interest in the relationship between ecosystem degradation due to urbanization, land-use change, agricultural intensification, biodiversity loss, and climate change, and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases in human populations.  The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency of understanding these relationships, as well as understanding the extent to which ecosystem management and nature-based solutions can improve human health and well-being. Although there have been recent efforts to synthesize primary literature related to some of the drivers of disease emergence and transmission, for instance, the relationship between biodiversity and human diseases, there has not yet been a systematic review of what is and is not known about the effect of ecological degradation (including deforestation and fragmentation), biodiversity loss, and ecosystem management on disease emergence and transmission, especially in the context of climate change. Towards that end, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Commission on Ecosystem Management has convened an “Ignite” Group” to 1) identify the strength of relationships between disease emergence and its hypothesized drivers; and 2) apply these relationships to models for ecological restoration and rewilding. Ignite team findings will be immediately shared and promoted as the global community seeks answers to improving human health. During this webinar, Ignite team members will explore potential relationships between biodiversity, ecological integrity, and disease emergence and transmission, and discuss implications for planning and implementing ecological restoration and rewilding.  Participants will have opportunities to share ideas and provide feedback.


Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUCN CEM) IUCN CEM Ecosystem Management and Human Health Ignite Group:

  • Angela Andrade, Policy Director, Conservation International Colombia; and Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUCN CEM)
  • Stephen Carver, School of Geography, University of Leeds (UK) and Co-chair of the IUCN CEM Rewilding Thematic Group.
  • Ian Convery, Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Cumbria (UK); and Co-chair of the IUCN CEM Rewilding Thematic Group.
  • Adam Eagle, Chief Executive Officer, The Lifescape Project (UK).
  • Angie Luis, Professor of Disease Ecology, University of Montana (USA).
  • Laurie B. Marczak, Scientific Publications Manager, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington (USA).
  • Cara R. Nelson, Professor of Restoration Ecology at University of Montana (USA); and Chair of the IUCN CEM Ecosystem Restoration Thematic Group.
  • Celine Surette, Professor, Faculty of Sciences, Universita de Moncton (Canada).
  • Gerardo Suzan, Professor, Departamento de Etología y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México 
  • Liette Vasseur, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University; and IUCN CEM vice-chair for North America and Chair of the Ecosystem Governance Thematic Group.
  • Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio, Associate Vice President for Conservation and Health, EcoHealth Alliance; and Chair, IUCN CEM Human Health & Ecosystem Management Thematic Group.

Go here to register.