#SustyTalk: Danone’s Eric Soubeiran on Covid-19 and World Biodiversity Day
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with Danone's vice president for nature and water cycle Eric Soubeiran discussing regenerative agriculture and food practices and climate leadership to mark world biodiversity day.
Between 1980 and 2013 there were 12,012 recorded virus outbreaks globally. Factors spurring this trend are various and have been linked to a rise in trade and global connectivity and increased travel. As those factors rise, biodiversity falls, which is the crux of the issue.
Deforestation is linked to 31% of outbreaks such as Ebola, and the Zika and Nipah viruses. It assists in driving animals into human populations and away from their natural habitat, which in turn accelerates the spread of “zoonotic” diseases. Viruses like Zika, malaria and dengue fever have all been accelerated by climate change, according to the World Health Organisation.
As such, World Biodiversity Day 2020 falls at a time where people are revaluating their relationship with nature, especially as exposure to it has been limited by the global lockdown.
To mark the occasion, edie’ content editor Matt Mace and Danone’s vice president for nature and water Eric Soubeiran discuss how businesses can become stewards for biodiversity and how they can champion climate action in the build-up to the postponed COP26.
“We realise this connection that nature is symbiotic and maybe people started thinking that nature was linear and that we could use it without consequence,” Soubeiran said. “Biodiversity is our lifeline, it is how you protect life on earth, and there is a balance that needs to be found. We are not protecting biodiversity, we’re destroying it to the point where the overall DNA of the world is converging. We’re impoverishing our lifeline.”
Soubeiran goes on to explain the role of business in championing nature and biodiversity and why this year remains a key one for global efforts to restore and protect.
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