Preventing pandemics, global warming and environmental degradation all at once

TOPSHOT - In this aerial view the red dust of the BR230 highway, known as "Transamazonica", mixes with fires at sunset in the agriculture town of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on September 6, 2019. - Presidents and ministers from seven Amazon countries met in Colombia on Friday to agree on  measures to protect the world's biggest rainforest, under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. The summit took place in the wake of an international outcry over months of raging fires that have devastated swaths of the Amazon in Brazil and Bolivia. (Photo by Johannes MYBURGH / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES MYBURGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Lauren E. Oakes is a Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Earth System Science, and the author of "In Search of the Canary Tree." Sarah H. Olson is the Associate Director of epidemiology for the Wildlife Conservation Society Health Program. James Watson is the Director of the Science and Research Initiative at the Wildlife Conservation Society and a professor of conservation science at the University of Queensland. The opinions expressed in this commentary are their own. View more opinion at CNN.

(CNN)The Earth and its inhabitants face three global crises: the pandemic crisis, the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis. Unto themselves, each already feels overwhelming -- in terms of public-health consequences, the speed and scale of impacts, and the transformative actions needed to keep the planet habitable.

Lauren E. Oakes
Sarah Olson
James E. M. Watson