It has long been recognised that the environments in which we live have an enormous influence on our physical and mental health. Equally, it has become clear to all in recent years that human activities can have profoundly damaging impacts of natural ecosystems and the biodiversity they support.
With the medical sciences tending to focus principally on the diagnosis and treatment of disease, and environmental sciences concentrating on elucidating the workings of natural ecosystems and wildlife, the question arises, “Who is equipped to provide an integrated understanding of how to mitigate environmental threats to humans at the same time as capturing the opportunities offered by nature to foster health and wellbeing?”
This lecture will briefly review past and present efforts to understand the intimate interconnections between the environment, human health and wellbeing. Well known and emerging risks will be considered along with the health benefits of living in different kinds of sustainable ecosystems. Ways of addressing the “wicked problems” we face using transdisciplinary approaches will be also explored, together with the value of horizon scanning in informing policy actions.
The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery is interested in promoting a wide variety of views and opinions on nature recovery from researchers and practitioners. The views, opinions and positions expressed within this lecture are those of the author alone, they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, or its researchers.