Current Affairs - Survey And Index

India's Farm Exports Reach a Record High of $53.15 Billion

Recently, provisional data from the Department of Commerce reveals that in the fiscal year 2022-23, India's farm exports reached a record high of $53.15 billion, surpassing the previous year's figure of $50.24 billion.

This data provides an early indication of the positive growth and performance of India's agricultural sector in terms of exports.

  • Trade Surplus and Imports: Total farm exports reached $53.15 billion in 2022-23, surpassing the previous year's record.
  • Agricultural trade surplus slightly decreased from $17.82 billion to $17.46 billion.
  • Import of fertilizers rose from $14.17 billion to $17.21 billion, narrowing the surplus further.
  • Fluctuations in Global Prices: Between 2013-14 and 2015-16, exports declined due to a drop in global prices.
  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Price Index (FPI) decreased during that period.
  • The FPI has since recovered, making India's agricultural commodities more price competitive and leading to increased exports.
  • Major Export Contributors: Marine products, non-basmati rice, and sugar have been significant contributors to India's agricultural exports.
  • Marine product exports grew steadily, reaching $8.08 billion in 2022-23.
  • Non-basmati rice exports more than doubled, reaching $6.36 billion.
  • Sugar exports reached $5.77 billion, making India the world's second-largest exporter.
  • Decline in Exports for Some Items: Spices, buffalo meat, raw cotton, guar gum, and oil meals have seen a decline in exports.
  • Spice exports stagnated after reaching almost $4 billion in 2020-21.
  • Buffalo meat exports never recovered to their peak of $4.78 billion in 2014-15.
  • Imports Profile: India's imports of farm produce are dominated by vegetable oils.
  • Vegetable oil imports more than doubled from $9.67 billion to $20.84 billion.
  • Dependence on imports for vegetable oils decreased to about 10% for pulses.
  • Declining International Prices: The latest FPI reading shows a decline, which may impact India's agri-exports.
  • Domestic Concerns: Food inflation fears ahead of the 2024 national elections may impact trade.
  • Government measures, such as export bans and restrictions, have been implemented in response.
  • Potential Impact of Southwest Monsoon: If the southwest monsoon season delivers subnormal rainfall, more export curbs and import liberalization can be expected.

Business Reform Action Plan 2020

On 30th June, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP)-2020 in New Delhi.

Reform & Regulatory Areas in BRAP 2020

  • The BRAP 2020 includes 301 reform points covering 15 business regulatory areas, such as access to information, single window system, labour and land administration.
  • 118 new reforms were included to further augment the reform process. Sectoral reforms with 72 action points spread across nine sectors like trade license, healthcare, legal metrology, and cinema halls were introduced for the first time to expand the scope of the reform agenda.

No Ranking but Categorization in BRAP 2020

The commerce and industry ministry has this time changed the system of ranking by making it category-based - top achievers, achievers, aspires, and emerging business ecosystems - against the earlier practice of announcing ranks. It was done so because the difference between various states/UTs was so little.

  1. Top Achievers: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
  2. Achievers: Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh
  3. Aspirers: Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal
  4. Emerging Business Ecosystems: Andaman and Nicobar, Bihar, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Puducherry and Tripura

About Business Reform Action Plan

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, since 2014, has been assessing states/UTs based on their performance in the implementation of prescribed reforms in the BRAP exercise.

Purpose of BRAP

  • The broader aim of the exercise is to boost investor confidence, foster a business-friendly climate and augment the ease of doing business across the country by introducing an element of healthy competition through a system of assessing states based on their performance in the implementation of Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP).
  • BRAP has a unified objective for India to emerge as a most favoured Investment Destination across the globe.

India's Gig and Platform Economy: A Report by NITI Aayog

On 27th June, 2022, NITI Aayog launched a report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy: Perspectives and Recommendations’ on Future of Work’.


  • The objective of the study was to understand the significance of this sector to the economy, to employment generation and suggest measures to encourage employment in the sector, along with initiatives for social security.

Why Focus on Gig Economy

  • The rapidly burgeoning gig workforce is ushering in a new economic revolution globally.
  • India – with its demographic dividend of half-a-billion labour force and the world’s youngest population, rapid urbanisation, widespread adoption of smartphones and associated technology – is the new frontier of this revolution.
  • Gig economy – transforming the way we move, work, and live – not just impacts how we do business but also affects our GDP.

Features of the Report

  • The report is a first-of-its-kind study that presents comprehensive perspectives and recommendations on the gig–platform economy in India.
  • The report provides a scientific methodological approach to estimate the current size and job-generation potential of the sector.
  • It highlights the opportunities and challenges of this emerging sector and presents global best practices on initiatives for social security and delineates strategies for skill development and job creation for different categories of workers in the sector.

Key Findings

  • The report estimates that in 2020–21, 77 lakh (7.7 million) workers were engaged in the gig economy. They constituted 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India.
  • The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore (23.5 million) workers by 2029–30.
  • Gig workers are expected to form 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood in India by 2029–30.
  • At present, about 47% of the gig work is in medium skilled jobs, about 22% in high skilled and about 31% in low skilled jobs.
  • Trend shows the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.


To harness the potential of the gig-platform sector, the report recommends:

A. Policy Recommendations

1. Catalyse Platformization in India

  • Platformization of all occupations and industries must be catalysed.
  • Promote entrepreneurship, and ensure ease of starting and doing business in the platform economy.
  • Accelerate the platformization of the mobility economy.
  • Skilling, upskilling, and reskilling programmes must all be aligned to jobs of the 21st century, i.e. platform jobs of today and tomorrow.

2. Unlock Financial Support for Platform Businesses

3. Accelerate Financial Inclusion of Platform Workers

B. Recommendations for Future Estimation

  • Separate Enumeration: Undertake a separate enumeration exercise to estimate the size of the gig economy, and identify the characteristic features of gig workers.
  • Identify Gig Workers: During official enumerations (PLFS, NSS or otherwise), collect information to identify gig workers. This could include questions on the nature of contract between worker and job creator, use of technology in work, etc.

Gig & Platform Workers

  • Gig workers can be broadly classified into platform and non-platform workers.
  • Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms while non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers, working part-time or full- time.

Extreme Poverty in India Eased 12.3 Percentage Points: WB Paper

Recently, a World Bank working paper was released titled ‘Poverty in India Has Declined over the Last Decade But Not As Much As Previously Thought’.

What the Paper said on Extreme Poverty in India?

  • Sharp Decline in Extreme Poverty: India's extreme poverty declined 12.3 percentage points lower in 2019 than in 2011 as poverty headcount rate has dropped from 22.5% in 2011 to 10.2% in 2019 with comparatively sharper decline in rural areas.
  • Faster Decline in Rural Areas: The poverty level in rural and urban areas declined by 14.7 and 7.9 percentage points, respectively, during the 2011-2019 period. While it eased to 11.6% in rural areas in 2019, the urban poverty level stood at 6.3%.
  • Small Landholding Sizes contributed Higher Growth: As per the study, farmers with small landholding sizes have experienced higher income growth. Real incomes for farmers with the smallest landholdings have grown by 10 percent in annualized terms between the two survey rounds [2013 and 2019] compared to a 2 percent growth for farmers with the largest landholding.
  • Consumption Inequality: Consumption Inequality rose during 1993-2011 but fell during 2011-2019.

How Extreme Poverty is Measured by WB

  • Since 2015, the World Bank has defined extreme poverty as people living on less than $1.90 a day, measured using the international poverty line.

This is the second working paper released this month after International Monetary Fund (IMF) that gauged poverty reduction in India.

What the IMF Paper says?

  • An IMF working paper recently suggested that extreme poverty in India was as low as 0.8% in 2019 and the country managed to keep it at that level in 2020 despite the pandemic, by resorting to food transfers through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Data used for both the Studies

  • While the paper by IMF is based on data from the National Sample Survey Organisation’s (NSSO’s) consumption expenditure survey of 2011-12, the new one by World Bank has relied on the Consumer Pyramid Household Survey (CPHS) of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), which is conducted continuously at four-month intervals since its inception in 2014.
  • While the IMF estimated poverty reduction after the pandemic, the WB focussed on the scenario before the Covid outbreak.

WB Report’s Significance for India

  • The World Bank’s paper is significant as India has no official estimation of recent periods.
  • The last expenditure survey was released in 2011 by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), when the country had also released official estimates of poverty and inequality.

NITI Aayog Releases Second Edition of Export Preparedness Index 2021

On 25th March, 2022, NITI Aayog, in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness, released the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2021.

About the Report

  • The Export Preparedness Index is a data-driven endeavour to identify the fundamental areas critical for subnational export promotion.
  • Primary Goals-
    • To instil competition among all Indian states (‘Coastal’, ‘Landlocked’, ‘Himalayan’, and ‘UTs/City-States’)
    • To bring about favourable export-promotion policies,
    • Ease the regulatory framework to prompt subnational export promotion,
    • Create the necessary infrastructure for exports
    • Assist in identifying strategic recommendations for improving export competitiveness.

4 Pillars

  • Policy: A comprehensive trade policy provides a strategic direction for exports and imports.
  • Business Ecosystem: An efficient business ecosystem can help attract investments and create an enabling infrastructure for businesses to grow.
  • Export Ecosystem: This pillar aims to assess the business environment, which is specific to exports.
  • Export Performance: This is the only output-based pillar and examines the reach of export footprints of states and union territories.

Eleven Sub-pillars

  • Export promotion policy, institutional framework, business environment, infrastructure, transport connectivity, access to finance, export infrastructure, trade support, R&D infrastructure, export diversification, and growth orientation.

Top Performers

  • Gujarat has retained the top position at the NITI Aayog's second edition of the Export Preparedness Index 2021 followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as among the states who are the top 10 performers.
  • Among union territories, Delhi has topped the index followed by Goa, Jammu, Kashmir, Chandigarh, and Puducherry while Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim, and Manipur were at the top five spots among the Himalayan states.


  • The index can be used by states and union territories (UTs) to benchmark their performance against their peers and analyse potential challenges to develop better policy mechanisms to foster export-led growth at the subnational level.
  • The Export Preparedness Index provides a regulatory framework for the regional economies to inculcate a competitive industrial environment.
  • It will help the states and UTs in a long way to plan and execute sound export-oriented policies for ensuring a conducive export ecosystem, to make maximum utilization of their export potential.

LEADS Index 2021

  • On 8th November 2021, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal launched the 3rd edition of the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Index, 2021.
  • As per the report, Gujarat has been adjudged as the ‘Best Performing State’ while Haryana and Punjab got the second and third position respectively.
  • Uttar Pradesh was the top improver - it moved ahead seven places.
  • Assam stood last on the chart among states while Jammu Kashmir was ranked first among North Eastern States and Himalayan Union Territories.

(Image Source: Marketing91)


  1. Gujarat
  2. Haryana
  3. Punjab
  4. Tamil Nadu
  5. Maharashtra
  6. Uttar Pradesh
  7. Odisha
  8. Karnataka
  9. Andhra Pradesh
  10. Telangana


  1. Uttar Pradesh
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. Jharkhand

About Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Index

  • LEADS is an attempt to bring Longevity, Efficiency, Accuracy, Durability, and Smartness in the Logistics sector.
  • The report is structured along the three dimensions which collectively influence logistics ease- Infrastructure, Services, and Operating and Regulatory Environment which are further categorised into 17 parameters.
  • The index is developed by the commerce and industry ministry along with Ernst & Young.

Household Indebtedness in India: NSS (77th Round) Findings

On 10th September 2021, the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released the ‘All India Debt & Investment Survey 2019’.

  • It was conducted during the period January – December, 2019 as a part of 77th round of National Sample Survey (NSS). Prior to this the survey was carried out in NSS 26th round (1971-72), 37th round (1981-82), 48th round (1992), 59th round (2003) and 70th round (2013).


  • The main objective of the survey on Debt & Investment was to collect basic quantitative information on the assets and liabilities of the households as on 30.6.2018. Besides, the survey gathered information on the amount of capital expenditure incurred by the households during the Agricultural Year 2018-19 (July-June), under different heads, like residential buildings, farm business and non-farm business.

The following indicators were generated from the survey of All India Debt & Investment:

  • Average value of Assets (AVA): The average value of all the physical and financial assets owned per household as on 30.06.2018.
  • Incidence of Indebtedness (IOI): The percentage of the indebted households as on 30.06.2018.
  • Average amount of Debt (AOD): The average amount of cash dues as on 30.06.2018 per household.
  • Average Fixed Capital Expenditure by the households during 01.07.2018 to 30.06.2019

Findings on Household Indebtedness

Incidence of Indebtedness (IOI) as on 30.06.2018

  • Incidence of Indebtedness was about 35% in Rural India (40.3% cultivator households, 28.2% non-cultivator households) compared to 22.4% in Urban India (27.5% self-employed households, 20.6% other households).
  • In Rural India, 17.8% households were indebted to institutional credit agencies only (21.2% cultivator households, 13.5% non-cultivator households) against 14.5% households in Urban India (18% self-employed households, 13.3% other households)
  • About 10.2% of the households were indebted to non-institutional credit agencies only in Rural India (10.3% cultivator households, 10% non-cultivator households) compared to 4.9% households in Urban India (5.2% self-employed households, 4.8% other households)
  • About 7% of the households were indebted to both institutional credit agencies & non-institutional credit agencies in Rural India (8.8% cultivator households, 4.7% non-cultivator households) against 3% households in Urban India (4.3% self-employed households, 2.5% other households)

Average amount of Debt (AOD) per Household

  • Rural Households: Average amount of debt was Rs. 59,748 among rural households (Rs. 74,460 for cultivator households, Rs. 40,432 for non-cultivator households)
  • Urban Households: Average amount of debt was Rs. 1,20,336 among urban households (Rs. 1,79,765 for self-employed households, Rs. 99,353 for other households)
  • In Rural India, the share of out standing cash debt from institutional credit agencies was 66% against 34% from non-institutional credit agencies. In Urban India, the share of outstanding cash debt from institutional credit agencies was 87% compared to 13% from non-institutional credit agencies.

Average amount of Debt per Indebted Household (AODL)

  • Rural India: Average amount of debt was Rs. 1,70,533 among indebted households in Rural India (Rs. 1,84,903 for cultivator households, Rs. 1,43,557 for non-cultivator households)
  • Urban India: Average amount of debt was Rs. 5,36,861 among indebted households in Urban India (Rs. 6,52,768 for self-employed households, Rs. 4,82,162 for other households)

RBI launches Financial Inclusion Index 2021

On 17th August 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a “Financial Inclusion Index” or FI-Index to measure and improve the extent of access, usage and quality of financial inclusion in the country.


  • The annual FI-Index for the period ending March 2021 is 53.9 against 43.4 for the period ending March 2017.

Objective of the Index

  • The Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index) has been created to capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country.

About the Index

  • The announcement regarding the creation of the Financial Inclusion Index was made in the first Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2021-2022 on April 7.
  • The FI-Index has been conceptualised as a comprehensive index, incorporating details of banking, investments, insurance, postal as well as the pension sector, in consultation with government and respective sectoral regulators.
  • The FI-Index will be published annually in July every year.

How it is measured?

  • It captures information on the financial inclusion aspects in a single value ranging between 0-100, where 0 represents complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion.
  • The FI-Index comprises three broad parameters -- Access (35%), Usage (45%), and Quality (20%), with each of these consisting of dimensions computed based on many indicators.
  • The Index is also responsive to the ease of access, availability and the usage of services, and the quality of services, comprising all 97 indicators.

Unique Features

  • Quality Aspect of Financial Inclusion: A unique feature of the Index is the quality parameter, which captures the quality aspect of financial inclusion as reflected by the financial literacy, consumer protection, and inequalities and deficiencies in services.
  • No Base Year: The FI-Index has been constructed without any 'base year', and as such it reflects cumulative efforts of all stakeholders over the years towards financial inclusion.

The Production Gap 2020

On 2nd December, 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)released the Production Gap Report, 2020.

About the Report

  • The first Production Gap Report was launched in November 2019.
  • Modelled after UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report series and conceived as a complementary analysis, the Production Gap Report revealed that while the pandemic and resulting lockdowns led to “short-term drops” in coal, oil and gas production, pre-COVID plans and post-COVID stimulus measures point to a continuation of increasing fossil fuel production.

Key Findings

  • The report highlights the discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production levels and the global levels necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. This gap is large, with countries aiming to produce 120% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and associated response measures have introduced new uncertainties to the production gap (the difference between national production plans and low-carbon (1.5°C and 2°C) pathways, as expressed in fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions).
  • The fossil fuel production gap will continue to widen if countries return to their pre-COVID plans and projections for expanded fossil fuel production.
  • To follow a 1.5°C-consistent pathway, the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6% per year between 2020 and 2030.
  • Countries are instead planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2%, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5°C limit.
  • Between 2020 and 2030, global coal, oil, and gas production would have to decline annually by 11%, 4%, and 3%, respectively, to be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
  • This translates to a production gap similar to 2019, with countries aiming to produce 120% and 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C, respectively.
  • To date, governments have committed far more COVID-19 funds to fossil fuels than to clean energy. Policymakers must reverse this trend to meet climate goals.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a reminder of the importance of ensuring that a transition away from fossil fuels is just and equitable.
  • Countries that are less dependent on fossil fuel production and have higher financial and institutional capacity can transition most rapidly, while those with higher dependence and lower capacity will require greater international support.

Key Recommendations

Six main areas of action for governments could help ensure a managed, just, and equitable transition away from fossil fuels that “builds back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic:

Ensure COVID-19 recovery packages and economic stimulus funds support a sustainable recovery and avoid further carbon lock-in

  • Many countries have begun to make investments in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, green hydrogen, and improved pedestrian infrastructure.
  • But if this is accompanied by significant support for high-carbon industries, COVID-19 recovery measures still risk locking in high-carbon energy systems and development pathways for decades into the future.
  • Governments that choose to invest in high-carbon industries to boost economies and safeguard livelihoods in the short term — perhaps because they see few near-term alternatives — can nonetheless introduce conditions to that investment to promote long-term alignment with climate goals.

Provide local and international support to fossil-fuel dependent communities

  • Each country and region faces unique challenges in a transition away from fossil fuels, depending on their dependence on production and their capacity to transition.
  • Inclusive planning is essential, as is financial, technical, and capacity-building support for communities with limited financial and institutional capacity.

Reduce Existing Government Support for Fossil Fuels

  • Many long-standing forms of government support to fossil fuels — including consumer subsidies, producer subsidies, and public finance investment — stand in the way of a sustainable recovery to COVID-19 and need to be ended.

Introduce Restrictions on Fossil Fuel Production Activities and Infrastructure

  • Restricting new fossil fuel production activities and infrastructure can avoid locking in levels of fossil fuel production higher than those consistent with climate goals. It can also reduce the risk of stranded assets and communities.

Enhance Transparency of Current and Future Fossil Fuel Production Levels

  • A key barrier to aligning energy and climate plans is the lack of clarity on levels of fossil fuel production and planned or expected growth. To improve transparency, countries could ensure that relevant production data are more readily and publicly accessible.
  • They can also provide information on how their fossil fuel production plans align with climate goals, and on their support to the production of fossil fuels.
  • Governments can also take steps to disclose their level of exposure to fossil fuel asset stranding and associated systemic risk, and to require companies within their jurisdiction to do so.

Mobilize and Support a Coordinated Global Response

  • Policies to transition away from fossil fuels will be most effective if supported by countries collectively, as this will send consistent, directional signals to energy producers, consumers, and investors.
  • International cooperation, both through established channels and in new forums, can support a just and equitable wind down of fossil fuels.
  • The Paris Agreement’s global stocktake, nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LEDS) offer opportunities to facilitate a transition away from fossil fuel production through the UN climate change process.
  • International financial institutions can help shift financial support away from fossil fuel production while scaling up support for low-carbon energy.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • Founded in 1972 by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Maurice Strong, UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
  • Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)

  • It was created during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20 in 2012.
  • It is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, with a universal membership of all 193 Member States.

Escaping The Era Of Pandemics

  • On 29th October, 2020, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a report which warns future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage to the world economy and kill more people than COVID-19 unless there is a transformative change in the global approach to dealing with infectious diseases.

Major Findings

Pandemics Emerge from the Microbial Diversity Found in Nature

  • The majority (70%) of emerging diseases (e.g. Ebola, Zika, Nipah encephalitis), and almost all known pandemics (e.g. influenza, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19), are zoonoses – i.e. are caused by microbes of animal origin. These microbes ‘spill over’ due to contact among wildlife, livestock, and people.

Human Ecological Disruption, and Unsustainable Consumption Drive Pandemic Risk

  • The risk of pandemics is increasing rapidly, with more than five new diseases emerging in people every year, any one of which has the potential to spread and become pandemic.
  • Unsustainable exploitation of the environment due to land-use change, agricultural expansion and intensification, wildlife trade and consumption disrupts natural interactions among wildlife and their microbes, increases contact among wildlife, livestock, people, and their pathogens and has led to almost all pandemics.
  • Pathogens of wildlife, livestock and people can also directly threaten biodiversity, and emerge via the same activities that drive disease risk in people.

Reducing Anthropogenic Global Environmental Change May Reduce Pandemic Risk

  • Pandemics and other emerging zoonoses cause widespread human suffering, and likely more than a trillion dollars in economic damages annually.
  • The true impact of COVID-19 on the global economy can only be accurately assessed once vaccines are fully deployed and transmission among populations is contained.
  • Pandemic risk could be significantly lowered by promoting responsible consumption and reducing unsustainable consumption of commodities from emerging disease hotspots, and of wildlife and wildlife-derived products, as well as by reducing excessive consumption of meat from livestock production.

Land-Use Change, Agricultural Expansion, Urbanization Cause More than 30% of Emerging Disease Events

  • Land-use change is a globally significant driver of pandemics and caused the emergence of more than 30% of new diseases reported since 1960.
  • Land-use change includes deforestation, human settlement in primarily wildlife habitat, the growth of crop and livestock production, and urbanization.
  • Destruction of habitat and encroachment of humans and livestock into bio-diverse habitats provide new pathways for pathogens to spill over and increase transmission rates.

Trade and Consumption of Wildlife is a Globally Important Risk for Future Pandemics

  • Wildlife trade has occurred throughout human history and provides nutrition and welfare for peoples, especially the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in many countries.
  • About 24% of all wild terrestrial vertebrate species are traded globally.
  • International, legal wildlife trade has increased more than five-fold in value in the last 14 years and was estimated to be worth US$107 billion in 2019.
  • The USA is one of the largest legal importers of wildlife with 10-20 million individual wild animals (terrestrial and marine) imported each year, largely for the pet trade.
  • Illegal and unregulated trade and unsustainable consumption of wildlife as well as the legal, regulated trade in wildlife, have been linked to disease emergence.

Suggestive Measures

The report offers following policy options that would help to reduce and address pandemic risk:

  • Launching a high-level intergovernmental council on pandemic prevention to provide decision-makers with the best science and evidence on emerging diseases; predict high-risk areas; evaluate the economic impact of potential pandemics and to highlight research gaps. Such a council could also coordinate the design of a global monitoring framework.
  • Countries setting mutually-agreed goals or targets within the framework of an international accord or agreement – with clear benefits for people, animals and the environment.
  • Institutionalizing the ‘One Health’ approach in national governments to build pandemic preparedness, enhance pandemic prevention programs, and to investigate and control outbreaks across sectors.
  • Developing and incorporating pandemic and emerging disease risk health impact assessments in major development and land-use projects, while reforming financial aid for land-use so that benefits and risks to biodiversity and health are recognized and explicitly targeted.
  • Ensuring that the economic cost of pandemics is factored into consumption, production, and government policies and budgets.
  • Enabling changes to reduce the types of consumption, globalized agricultural expansion and trade that have led to pandemics – this could include taxes or levies on meat consumption, livestock production and other forms of high pandemic-risk activities.
  • Reducing zoonotic disease risks in the international wildlife trade through a new intergovernmental ‘health and trade’ partnership; reducing or removing high disease-risk species in the wildlife trade; enhancing law enforcement in all aspects of the illegal wildlife trade and improving community education in disease hotspots about the health risks of wildlife trade.
  • Valuing Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ engagement and knowledge in pandemic prevention programs, achieving greater food security, and reducing consumption of wildlife.
  • Closing critical knowledge gaps such as those about key risk behaviors, the relative importance of illegal, unregulated, and the legal and regulated wildlife trade in disease risk, and improving understanding of the relationship between ecosystem degradation and restoration, landscape structure and the risk of disease emergence.


  • The report is published at a critical juncture in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, at whichits long-term societal and economic impacts are being recognized.
  • It provides yet another piece of scientific evidence that our health and society are seriously endangered by the disruption of nature as a result of factory farming, global free trade, and the current system based on unlimited economic growth
  • This report embraces the need for transformative change and uses scientific evidence to identify policy options to prevent pandemics.

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

  • It is an independent intergovernmental body established by States to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.
  • Established in Panama City, on 21 April 2012 by 94 Governments, it is not a United Nations body.
  • IPBES has a collaborative partnership arrangement with UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP. Its secretariat is hosted by the German government and located on the UN campus, in Bonn, Germany.
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