The health sector is, logically, primarily concerned with human beings. This means that the vision and approach it adopts tend to be very anthropocentric, which often clouds the view of all the other related issues, like the non-human, other animal and vegetable life forms, their intricacies, the different ecosystems, and how they function. What we call an emergent disease in humans usually corresponds to a risk factor that already exists elsewhere, and is transferred from another species to humans. So if we learn more about this environment, we can be better prepared.
Conversely, the health world imposes a certain number of responsibilities on the conservation world. Understanding diversity cannot be confined to drawing up lists of inventories, including micro-organisms. There is also a need to analyse interrelations and to check, as far as possible, which epidemiological cycles exist and if their spectrum of action is likely to be modified when they come up against the global changes we are seeing.
I feel that the veterinary profession can answer questions on important concepts in the areas of zoological diversity, ecology, health, and economics. This logically leads on to conservation concerns. The fact is that evolution and adaptation, essential to tackling these changes, depend on a minimal increase in the complexity of ecosystems. Human environmental actions tend to simplify everything, and thus increase the risk factors.