Ecosystem degradation and the spread of Covid-19
Chiara Castelli (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies); Marta Castellini (Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, DICEA, University of Padova and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Nicola Comincioli (Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Maria Laura Parisi (Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia); Nicola Pontarollo (Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia); Sergio Vergalli (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia)
C11, C21, R10
Early spread of SARS-CoV-2, Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), World regions, Regression analysis, Bayesian estimation, Spatial random effects
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 863 (2023)
The linkages between the emergence of zoonotic diseases and ecosystem degradation have been widely acknowledged by the scientific community and policy makers. In this paper we investigate the relationship between human overexploitation of natural resources, represented by the Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production Index (HANPP) and the spread of Covid-19 cases during the first pandemic wave in 730 regions of 63 countries worldwide. Using a Bayesian estimation technique, we highlight the significant role of HANPP as a driver of Covid-19 diffusion, besides confirming the well-known impact of population size and the effects of other socio-economic variables. We believe that these findings could be relevant for policy makers in their effort towards a more sustainable intensive agriculture and responsible urbanisation.