Roundtable to Recommend Urgent and Practical Steps World Leaders Can Take to Prevent New Pandemics by Addressing their Root Causes

2 September 2021 @ 1PM UTC

Rome: 3pm
New York: 9am
Nairobi: 4pm
Beijing: 9pm
Bangkok: 8pm
Sao Paolo: 10am

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected 200 million people, killing more than 4 million in just 20 months. Experts project US $11 trillion in damages for the global economy, including countless business closures, lost jobs, devastated livelihoods, and overburdened government budgets. There are also serious concerns that COVID variants might circumvent current vaccinations and that new virus outbreaks could be even more devastating.

Following HIV, SARS, Ebola, Bird Flu, and MERS, COVID-19 is the latest pandemic that results directly from humans tampering with wildlife, invading its habitat, and unleashing a devastating disease. Fortunately, such outbreaks are preventable. Previous international health campaigns prove that humanity is capable of preventing widespread infectious diseases and avoiding the enormous costs of a global outbreak. If the global community takes decisive action NOW, the next looming pandemic can be averted.

This Roundtable is hosted by EndPandemics and United for Regeneration, which was founded in partnership with the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promoting Integral Human Development and its COVID-19 Commission. Global experts and change leaders from government and multilateral institutions, business, civil society and the media will gather virtually and in-person in the media room of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to provide supportive advice to global leaders including the G20 Heads of State who will meet in Rome in October. The Roundtable will discuss specific Action Proposals, which include a Roadmap to significantly reduce the risk of future pandemics, while helping to regenerate natural habitats and local communities, protect biodiversity, and reduce global heating.

This Roundtable will be broadcast globally by The Independent — for broad visibility, public awareness building and inputs — as part of its Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade initiative, which is working with the EndPandemics campaign to prevent zoonotic outbreaks by addressing their root causes.

The EndPandemics campaign has already led to innovative policy approaches, legal reform and concrete enforcement, including widespread habitat protection, wildlife market closures and illegal trade interruption in ASEAN countries. Following this important event, additional engagement gatherings, policy initiatives and media campaigns will assist governments and multilateral institutions in taking effective action.

EndPandemics.Earth is a global solutions-oriented campaign that strives to reduce the risks of zoonotic outbreaks by addressing their root causes – commercial wildlife trade, wild habitat disruption and wildlife dependence of poverty-affected livelihoods.

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Our world is still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic has inflicted over 200 million people, killing more than 4 million in just 20 months. The global economy has been seriously set back, with experts projecting $11+ trillion in costs. And there are concerns that new viruses or variants may circumvent current vaccination programs. How do we move beyond our current reactive mode, to preventing new pandemics from occurring in the first place?

Experts and change leaders are gathered to share advice for world leaders, and to the global community, including the presentation of a new Roadmap that can lead us out of pandemics.

This Roundtable will explain the root causes of zoonotic outbreaks and what humanity can do to prevent them. It will also discuss a concrete action proposal, which we will submit to world leaders, including those who meet next month in Rome for the G20 summit.

• Vatican COVID-19 Commission
• EndPandemics.Earth
• United for Regeneration