Biodiversity conservation, zoonotic diseases, and human security in Africa two years into COVID-19

Biodiversity conservation, zoonotic diseases, and human security in Africa two years into COVID-19

Friday, January 14, 2022, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST

Far more extensive and robust conservation of natural habitats, smarter and more diligent monitoring of legal wildlife trade, and suppression of poaching and wildlife trafficking are necessary for preventing and minimizing the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed how vulnerable conservation and income for local communities and protected areas are to downturns in tourism.

On January 14, the Brookings Institution’s Africa Security Initiative and Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors will host a panel discussion to explore the following questions: What have the effects of COVID-19 been on conservation in Africa and poaching and wildlife trafficking as well as legal wildlife trade? What effective response measures have been adopted or need to be developed going forward? And has the COVID-19 become an impetus for radically intensified protection of biodiversity and led to genuine transformation toward “One Health,” or has it become not only a tragedy, but also a wasted opportunity for biodiversity conservation and human security?

After their remarks, panelists will take questions from the audience. Viewers can submit questions for speakers via email to or on Twitter using #NonstateArmedActors.


Peter Lindsey, Director, Lion Recovery Fund, Wildlife Conservation Network | @TurgwePete
Victor K. Muposhi, Associate Professor, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources | @vkmuposhi
Alastair Nelson, Managing Director, Conservation Synergies; Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime | @ConsSynergies
Catherine Semcer, Research Fellow, Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) | @CatherineSemcer
Moderator: Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow and Director, Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors, The Brookings Institution | @VFelbabBrown

Stay up to date on Brookings events. Sign up for event invitations by topic and our weekly events update.

Event Start Date: January 14, 2022