Environnement, Risques & Santé


Links between agriculture, biodiversity, and zoonoses Volume 21, issue 3, Mai-Juin 2022

1 MIVEGEC, CNRS – IRD - Université de Montpellier, 911, avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
2 Université de Mahidol, Faculté de médecine tropicale, Bangkok, Thaïlande
3 Fondation pour la recherche sur la biodiversité, 195 rue Saint Jacques, 75005 Paris, France
Tirés à part : S. Morand

Article previously published in Humanité et Biodiversité magazine 7 and republished with its agreement.


There is growing consensus that converting natural habitats into agro-ecosystems increases the emergence of disease and the risk of infection to humans. A varied biodiversity both amplifies this risk of infection, due to the greater number of potential pathogens, and reduces it by regulating the pathogens in a complex living network. When biodiversity collapses, ecosystems deteriorate, and these pathogens are shared with humans. With increasing land conversion and more intense cattle farming, zoonotic diseases may escalate worldwide. Local solutions must be found, in particular through agro-ecological transition, to slow or even reverse this dangerous spiral.