Healthy ecosystems are essential for human health and survival. We all depend on clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, healthy food supplies, green spaces for recreation, and contact with wildlife to enrich our lives. There is growing evidence that we gain specific physical and mental health benefits from living in clean, healthy ecosystems and from having access to natural areas and biodiversity.
EcoHealth Ontario (EHO) is a collaborative of professionals in the fields of public health, medicine, education, planning and the environment. We are working together to increase our understanding of the relationships between environment and health with the aim of finding ways to increase the quality and diversity of the urban and rural spaces in which we live.
Conserving Biodiversity: A Public Health Imperative is a new report from EcoHealth Ontario that compiles information about the essential health benefits provided by biodiversity.
Conserving biodiversity is important for our health and well-being because nature provides us with multiple benefits that we rely on every day.
Better air quality, cooler temperatures and outdoor activities help to reduce cardiopulmonary diseases, asthma, diabetes, anxiety and depression. Healthy water and soil resources ensure we have safe drinking water and healthy food supplies.
Biodiversity in Ontario faces pressures from climate change, urban sprawl and the impact of our daily lifestyle footprint. This report suggests ways that practitioners and professionals working in conservation, public health, planning, education and other sectors can help to conserve biodiversity.