How can nature and biodiversity help improving public health and social cohesion?

Transboundary Special Nature Reserve Gornje Podunavlje (HR/RS) © Jaroslav Pap

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A two-day intense workshop took place last week in Brussels organised by IEEP (Institute for European Environmental Policy) to present the results of a research on “Health and Social Benefits of Biodiversity and Nature Protection” and took place in the Committee of the Regions, on the 27th-28th January 2016.

Institute for European Environmental Policy

Institute for European Environmental Policy

How can nature and biodiversity help improving public health and social cohesion? What are the benefits of Natura 2000 sites, other protected areas and wider green infrastructure to human health and wellbeing? Those were some of the aspects discussed during the workshop, with the support of a large number of case studies from all over Europe.

The crucial role and the benefits Protected Areas are providing for health and social cohesion were highlighted by EUROPARC President Ignace Schops, with the support of brilliant case studies presented by parks and member organisations. Among them: Scottish Natural Heritage, Parks and Wildlife of Finland, Hoge Kempen National Park (Be), Razna National Park (Lt), Medvednic Nature Park (Cr), Pembrokeshire National Park (Uk).

Protected areas are Community Hubs and Health Hotspots and EUROPARC is committed to value those experiences and move from the guidance to the wider implementation and promotion of good practices across protected areas in Europe

said Carol Ritchie, EUROPARC Director.

EUROPARC congratulates IEEP and the EC for the successful workshop and the interesting research, and is keen to contribute to future developments in this field.

Below you can download the IEEP background report, with interesting information about the cases studies introduced at the Workshop. Take the opportunity to learn more about Health in Protected Areas with a set of case studies from EUROPARC Network, created by EUROPARC working group on Health in PAs.