Arising from the Nature is Good Medicine Workshop at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille on 5 September 2021, we call on IUCN and its Members to recognise the irreplaceable potential of nature-derived health services to individuals and society and to actively promote and support partnerships with the health sector and other key partners to make access to nature and its benefits available to all.”

Nádúr and Ecowellness Consulting are proud to support this Call to Action as the importance of nature contact and nature connection for good health and wellbeing for both the people and the planet cannot be over emphasized in the aftermath of the global pandemic, especially in relation to mental health. We need partnerships between the health sectors, environmental sectors, and social care sectors to realise the potential of nature-based solutions for health and wellbeing as low cost, evidence informed Greencare practices.

Parks protected and conserved areas and green spaces provide critical natural, physical, and social infrastructure that provides essential services that benefit human health and well-being. Nature-based health and well-being solutions can take many forms – from ‘everyday’ unstructured use of parks to targeted nature-based health interventions and therapeutic practices. Health promotion through contact with nature should focus on equitable and inclusive access, be fit for purpose for target groups, adaptable, environmentally, and culturally sustainable, and scalable.

The following actions are called for.

  • Share best available knowledge across ecosystem management, health, education, tourism, and other sectors about the benefits of nature connection for positive human health and well-being through protected and conserved areas, including territories and areas conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities (ICCAs).
  • Integrate nature-based solutions into preventative, treatment and recovery programmes and existing and emerging health practices that promote healthy active lifestyles through volunteering and community learning, social prescriptions, and preventative physical and mental health models.
  • Develop new models of funding and investment partnerships for innovative nature-based health practices in protected and conserved areas between government, corporate, philanthropic, research, community, and volunteering sectors.

Nádur’s Managing Director, Shirley Gleeson is part of the IUCN WCPA Specialist Advisory Group in Health and Wellbeing. This group comprises nature and health experts from across the world. It promotes the health and wellbeing benefits of nature across the conservation, health, and social sectors. Nádúr understands the importance of forming supportive partnerships to enhance impact ,ensure sustainability and promote inclusion.