Nature and Health – another region makes the link!
The Declaration on Interdependence between Health & Nature in Catalonia was presented yesterday 30th January at the premises of the Macaya Palace in Barcelona. This declaration is the outcome of a series of sessions on Nature & Health, which has highlighted the contribution of nature to the health of people, and the importance of having a well-preserved environment, with a rich biodiversity, to guarantee a more sustainable human development at the social, economic and environmental level.
The Declaration lays the basis for the establishment of a permanent working group between the Catalan Nature and Health sectors in order to undertake a common strategy to tackle the interdependence between nature’s health and people’s health. The working group is formed by the administration (Health and Territory Departments from Catalan government), the private sector, entities and research institutions.
The event was opened by Pete Rawcliffe, EUROPARC Council member and chair of the EUROPARC Health Commission, who was invited to share his experience as coordinator of the Scottish Natural Health System initiative, which has been already running for more than 10 years. The “Our Natural Health System” initiative is based on a strategy of stable collaboration between the Scottish Natural Heritage, the Health Department and other departments of the Scottish government. It aims to achieve a change in the use of solutions based on nature to achieve results in the health of the population, and shows that the natural heritage of Scotland is a resource that is currently underused while it could help address some of the current health problems, typical of an urban ageing population. The aim is to move from a clinician approach to a disease prevention model and to convey the idea that “Getting healthier should begin at someone’s doorstep”. An aspect of the initiative is to work with the clinicians to introduce green in hospitals to speed recovery of patients, as shown in the NHS greenspace demonstration project.
EUROPARC Health commission is currently working on the adaptation of the “Healthy parks, healthy people” initiative to the European reality.