The damaging effect humans have had on natural resources has been more pronounced in the last half-a-century with 60% of the world's biodiversity being decimated. Severe climate change has been one of the fall-outs of this destruction of nature by man and one that we need to reverse. The UK hasn't been spared the effects of such changes as revealed by the State of Nature report recently published. Since the 1970s the UK has witnessed one of the highest losses of biodiversity on the planet.
Everyone knows that fresh air is good for you, and escaping to wide open green spaces or the coast has health benefits. A recent study by the Institute of Health Equality highlights the growing evidence that green spaces benefit our health and wellbeing.
A recent report was commissioned by Defra. Entitled “The Biodiversity Segmentation Scoping Study”. The idea behind the study was to ensure that any engagement with people is focused and relevant, and to encourage more people to engage in biodiversity by 2020. They compiled a report with a mix of data and feedback from targeted groups to learn how to ensure people want to learn about biodiversity and take an active role in projects/community areas.
Levels of engagement were defined as follows-
The RSPB, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environment Management and the Royal Town Planning Institute have published a report highlighting the importance of spatial planning and offering recommendations in order to ensure that development is sustainable and enhances the natural environment.
The report resulted in 12 principles created to highlight effective planning and to minimise damage to the environment-
A new five-step process has now been developed that can inform effective planning to protect and enhance the value of urban green spaces. Small areas of semi-natural vegetation, farmlands and abandoned farmlands provide important ecosystem services in urban environments.
We all know the benefits of enjoying the countryside and fresh air. A stroll through the countryside, along the banks of a canal or to the local park can improve our mood, reduce stress and help keep off those unwanted pounds. However, now an American tool has been developed to illustrate the link between human health and natural habitats.