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Participating in physical activity and experiencing nature both play an important role in positively influencing our health and wellbeing. Yet, physical activity levels have dropped dramatically, and inactivity results in 1.9 million deaths worldwide annually, roughly one in 25 of all deaths. The costs of inactivity in the UK are £8.3 billion per year, equating to £5 million for each PCT. It is also well established that exposure to natural places can lead to positive mental health outcomes, whether a view of nature from a window, being within natural places or exercising in these environments. Green space is important for mental wellbeing, and levels of interaction/engagement have been linked with longevity and decreased risk of mental ill-health across a number of countries.
This Green Paper makes the case for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England to halt the decline in nature and speed its recovery, for the benefit of people and our environment. We need a new legal commitment to the restoration of nature for the next generation. To achieve this ambition, we need new laws to ensure protection and enhancement of nature as an investment in our nation’s prosperity. We need to reconnect people with nature. From the local level up, the enhancement of our natural environment would be realised through local visions of how, where and why more nature can be delivered through planning and spending decisions. Nature’s recovery would bring a range of benefits, not least, for our health and wellbeing. Inactivity and obesity are escalating; poor mental health is having a significant impact on wellbeing; climate change is already affecting our urban areas and the productivity of our countryside; many of our villages, towns and cities face growing risk of flooding; and our economy continues to use many of our natural “assets” in an unsustainable way, which is likely to be a brake on progress and development in the future. The list is long.
This report presents compelling evidence that we as a nation, and especially our children, are exhibiting the symptoms of a modern phenomenon known as ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. We look at what this disorder is costing us, why it’s proving so difficult to reverse, and gather current thinking on what we must do to eliminate it, before opening up the question to the nation for consideration. It is important to state from the beginning that this is not an anachronistic lament on modernity. The benefits of modern technology are many; and to cry out for the return of some mythical golden age would be as ineffective as it would be misguided. Instead, this report is a call to arms to ensure that as we move forward, we do so while retaining what is most precious and gives life most meaning. As Octavia Hill, one of the founders of the National Trust, observed over 100 years ago, ‘the sight of sky and things growing are fundamental needs, common to all men.’ The lengthening shadow of what has been termed Nature Deficit Disorder threatens the fulfilment of that need; we must turn the tide.
The kingdom of Bhutan is honoured to offer this report as a contribution to the growing global conversation on a transformative post-2015 development agenda. The report is inspired by Bhutan’s development approach based on the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and proposes a New Development Paradigm with societal happiness as its guiding vision. Such a holistic view of development has the potential to transform humanity’s relationship with nature, restructure our economies, change our attitudes to food and wealth, and promote caring, altruism, inclusiveness and cooperation. In the new paradigm, genuine happiness is understood to arise from a deep abiding sense of harmony with the natural world, of compassion, contentment and joy. It also acknowledges that basic needs like clean air and water, good health, decent living conditions, knowledge, peace, security and justice, meaningful relationships and other dimensions of wellbeing are essential preconditions for human beings to flourish and achieve true happiness. The new development framework presented is not intended to be dogmatic or static. Rather, Bhutan wished to contribute to the search for a genuinely different paradigm – a process that will require exploration of unorthodox approaches that challenge the fundamentals of the current paradigm in search of a better way to live and flourish on our planet. This new paradigm is envisioned to emerge and evolve through a dynamic process of global conversation, participation and constant feedback.
This new discussion document highlights the overwhelming evidence for major changes to national food and farming policy. It’s been written by a collaboration of 10 UK organisations: the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, the National Trust, the Food Ethics Council, Sustain, the Wildlife Trusts, the Soil Association, Eating Better and Compassion in World Farming working with the Food Research Collaboration. It calls for stronger government leadership in planning the future use of land, food policy, farming and conservation in England and for wider public engagement on issues that affect the whole of society. The report focuses on four key inter-connected areas and proposes solutions for: - Improving health: getting a grip on the growing crisis of obesity and diet-related ill-health - Good food for all: tackling food poverty, ensuring fair food supply chains - Sustainable farming: investing in a resilient farming system in the face of climate change and dwindling resources - Enhancing nature: to bring back colour to the countryside and protect the natural environment on which we all depend. Square Meal aims to start a wider conversation about how to secure a healthy countryside and healthy food for everyone, and get greater public benefit from our food and farming system.
Business needs to unleash its full potential to contribute to social and environmental challenges, and to increase global well-being. A simple idea that still clashes with mainstream capitalism and its “business as usual” practices. Grounded in indigenous oriental knowledge, this paper uncovers a comprehensive holistic human-centered worldview that drives higher purpose maximization through sustainable business and management development. Taoist Yin-Yang and the Five Elements theories, along with Zen Buddhism main principles and western-based management models, provide a comprehensive framework to lead conscious businesses through value-oriented strategies. They coach a balanced relationship among corporate‘s dynamic processes putting leadership, marketing, innovation and finance at the service of a spiritual-wise business model. This is devoted exclusively to lead organizational transformation, marketing social change and render positive externalities. This paper is not only about showing that there is more to business than making money, it rather seeks to bring to the debate the personal, organisational and systemic transformational power of business when it is based in values and human-centred models that raw upon ancient human knowledge.
A 90 minute film directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot. Can we imagine a film that would change the way people look at the ocean? Can we explain simply, to everyone, the greatest natural mystery of our planet? And lastly, can we help our children believe in a better and more sustainable world tomorrow? This is the triple challenge of a new cinema adventure signed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and editor- in-chief Michael Pitiot, who brings with him the scientific missions of TARA, a unique pool of researchers, oceanographers and biologists from several countries. Thanks to its astonishing photography, the film takes us on a magnificent and unprecedented journey into the heart of the least known regions of our planet. The film narrates the most marvelous and also the most terrifying human experiences of our time. Filmed in extreme geographical conditions all over the glove, it describes the modern Odyssey of people who go out to discover their blue planet. The film is also a plea for humanity to respect the world in which we live. It serves a noble and universal cause.
Directed by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and narrated by Glenn Close, HOME takes you on a visually stunning, spectacular voyage around the world. It is a unique film that approaches the current debate about climate change from a whole new angle, giving viewers the opportunity to see for themselves how our earth is changing. Going well beyond the scientific reports, charts and graphs, this film is an inspiration that speaks to our hearts and touches our souls. Spanning 54 countries and 120 locations, all seen from the air, the film captures the Earth’s most amazing landscapes, showcasing its incomparable beauty and acknowledging its vulnerability. HOME is a compelling emotional reminder of what is at stake: the Earth, in all its beauty, and the people who live on it. HOME is the first major film about climate change that has been made using only aerial photography. The film marks artist and activist, Yann Arthus-Betrand’s feature film directorial debut.
World Environment Day (WED) is the principal vehicle of the United Nations for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet. Every Action Counts Whether it is to organize clean-up campaigns, walk-to-work days, plastic purges, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, switching off the lights, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests — every action counts. When multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in their impact. WED 2014: Raise your voice, not the sea level In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), WED this year adopts SIDS in the broader context of climate change as its theme.
This discussion paper is an attempt to lay out a path toward a more sustainable society. It introduces several principles of sustainable well-being that meet the key sustainability challenges of advanced societies. Taken together, these principles form a vision of a sustainable well-being society. In addition, the paper analyzes the changing role of government in the transition towards sustainability.
Climate change, financial and poverty crises, and most recently, the nuclear disaster in Japan are adding urgency to the search for alternatives to our current model of production and consumption. The ideals of a united world and a desire for happiness and a good life lie at the heart of all debates about sustainable development – and such discussion has long been taking place in developing and emerging countries. Numerous actors all over the world are looking for alternatives to the growth imperative. Latin America is no different. Ecuador and Bolivia have enshrined the right to a good life in their constitutions. Buen Vivir is based on indigenous traditions and values. Thomas Fatheuer’s essay describes a concept that has remained virtually unnoticed in Europe.
Focus on the Global South recently undertook a series of exploratory discussions with indigenous peoples, social movements and civil society organizations in Asia to see what can be learned about the concept of “Vivir Bien” as developed in South America; how similar concepts are practiced throughout Asian societies, and whether these concepts can provide feasible alternatives to the neoliberal model. This publication is based on those discussions, which occurred in Thailand, India and the Philippines in the first months of 2013. While found at the opposite ends of the Earth, Asia and Latin America have many parallel experiences in modern history, such as being governed by neoliberal policies creating widespread social and ecological damage in the name of economic growth. Social movements in both regions have responded by developing alternatives that promote the welfare of people and the planet over the interests of corporations and international capital. One such alternative which has gained much attention in recent years is Vivir Bien, or Living Well, developed from common beliefs of indigenous peoples in South America.
The recovery of ancestral practices, knowledge, and wisdom of the indigenous peoples, focused on the common well-being and the reunion between human beings and nature, has been injected in the debate over development, and in the name of Good Living, or Living Well, they are established as alternatives. Emanating from the Andean cosmovision, these concepts are based on principles of complementarity and reciprocity, where respect for life and Mother Earth is fundamental to maintain an equilibrium and establish harmony between human beings and nature. In Bolivia it is termed Good Living, a concept derived from suma qamaña in Aymara. For Bolivian Chancellor David Choquehuanca, this life style “signifies complementing each other and not competing, sharing and not taking advantage (of others), living in harmony among people and with nature”.
The 2012 edition of the LPR highlights the tremendous pressure that humanity is putting on our planet. We are using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide. By 2030, even two planets will not be enough. Our natural capital is declining and our Ecological Footprint is increasing. Urgent action is needed to ensure that we can live in harmony with nature. 7 billion expectations, one planet: Human population dynamics are a major driving force behind environmental degradation. One aspect of this is the overall size of the global population, which has more than doubled since 1950 - to 7 billion in 2011 and is forecast to reach just over 9.3 billion people by 2050. Rising consumption trends in high-income groups around the world and in BRIICS countries, combined with growing population numbers, provide warning signs of the potential for even larger footprints in the future. We can create more just and equitable societies - providing food, water and energy for all - through the sustainable management of the Earth’s natural capital.
This booklet is written and researched by Movingsounds, based on their innovative, creative work and rich experience in the field and is an extraordinary resource – a real treasure trove of ways to engage and work actively and creatively with groups of any age. It is published by Transition Scotland Support as part of a series of resources to help Transition groups in their work creating positive change in their communities.
A healthy planet is our life-support system. Not only does it give us food, but also clean air, a stable climate and fresh water. Yet the natural world we depend on is in crisis, its ability to sustain life is under threat. But we can change things for the better. What's the problem? Our planet is our life-support system providing us with all we need to survive. Yet human activity is wrecking it - which in turn affects its ability to support us. In our free booklet we explain why a healthy planet matters to our existence and what nature's systems do for us. 
Ecotherapy is an intervention that improves mental and physical health and wellbeing by supporting people to be active outdoors: doing gardening, food growing or environmental work. This report provides the people who plan, commission and provide health and social care services with compelling evidence for providing ecotherapy services that can: help people look after their mental wellbeing, support people who may be at risk of developing a mental health problem, help the recovery of people with existing mental health problems.
This booklet is an introduction to ecotherapy, a range of nature-based programmes that can help support your mental wellbeing. It describes the different types of programmes available, their benefits and how to join them.
Today’s environmental challenges are not new. The priorities of the 6th Environment Action Programme a decade ago – climate change, biodiversity loss, unsustainable use of natural resources and environmental pressures on human health and well-being – remain important concerns today. What has changed is the recognition of the complex links between the many challenges and the need for integrated responses. This year’s report, the Environmental indicator report 2013, extends the analysis to the links between resource use an human well-being, taking basic human needs (for food, energy, water and housing) as the entry points for analysis. By analyzing environmental pressures associated with current resource use patterns and related well-being impacts, the report identifies possible levers for effecting change in an integrated manner.
The natural environment underpins our social and economic systems; it makes life on Earth possible and worth living. As well as its intrinsic value, it contributes to the delivery of key policy goals and plays a critical role in responding to the economic and environmental challenges that our society faces today by increasing our resilience and encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle. Yet in spite of the growing evidence, we are failing to realise its potential.
This report is a synthesis of ideas about what this new economy-in-society-in-nature could look like and how we might get there. In this report, we discuss the need to focus more directly on the goal of sustainable human well-being rather than merely GDP growth. This includes protecting and restoring nature, achieving social and intergenerational fairness (including poverty alleviation), stabilizing population, and recognizing the significant nonmarket contributions to human well-being from natural and social capital. To do this, we need to develop better measures of progress that go well beyond GDP and begin to measure human well-being and its sustainability more directly. Our purpose in this report is to lay out a new model of the economy based on the worldview and principles of “ecological economics”.