/ Our Mission

Conservation Medicine, based in Malaysia, is committed to working with our Malaysian partners, EcoHealth Alliance, the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and with our colleagues and partners across South East Asia and beyond to continue training and capacity building efforts to strengthen zoonotic research and improve biosecurity and biosafety.

We will continue disease surveillance at high-risk interfaces and in hospital settings; identify which new pathogens pose a risk to humans, wildlife and livestock and improve diagnostics. We will also continue working with high-risk populations to reduce the risk of zoonotic spillover and with industry and others involved in land-use and development planning to help them develop the tools needed to make informed decisions about where and how to carry out land-use change.

This effort will help to build on our readiness to respond to the next Disease X.

/ The Challenge

Zoonotic spillover events are increasing

Increased deforestation, land-use change, the legal and illegal wildlife trade are causing more and more zoonotic spillover events.

In the last century, on average two new diseases have jumped from animals to humans every year. Many are mild or go unnoticed, but others – such as Ebola, HIV, SARS-CoV-1, Nipah and COVID-19 – can have devastating economic and public health impacts. Wild animals like bats and rodents are the natural reservoir for zoonotic pathogens and have carried these pathogens for thousands of years. They are not to blame for these disease emergence events – it is humans who are responsible for altering the environment and increasing contact and conflict with these important species.

Uncontrolled development is unsustainable

Development and agricultural activities alone are not the problem. It is the lack of respect for the natural environment and all it provides to keep us healthy as well as the pressure for short term economic profit over long term sustainability that drive disease emergence.

If we continue to grow our cities, expand our transport networks and convert land to agriculture without proper land-use planning, prioritising short term profit over protecting our natural habitat these events will continue to occur. The rainforest plays a vital role in preventing disease emergence, providing habitat for wildlife away from humans and livestock, as well as regulating the climate, absorbing carbon dioxide, and maintaining the world’s water cycle.

Conservation Medicine land-use tropical diseases

/ The Solution

Healthy Environment = Healthy Humans

If we want to have healthy humans, we need to have a healthy environment, healthy wildlife and healthy livestock. Harming or neglecting the care of one will have a direct impact on the others. As COVID-19 has reminded us, the human and natural worlds are interconnected – our impact on the natural environment will in turn impact us all. We must learn to balance our needs with the needs of the world around us, and sustainably manage the land we depend on for our own survival.

/ The Team

/ Partners


/ Partners