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This open access book identifies and discusses biodiversity’s contribution to physical, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing. Furthermore, the book identifies the implications of this relationship for nature conservation, public health, landscape architecture and urban planning – and considers the opportunities of nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation.

This transdisciplinary book will attract a wide audience interested in biodiversity, ecology, resource management, public health, psychology, urban planning, and landscape architecture. The emphasis is on multiple human health benefits from biodiversity - in particular with respect to the increasing challenge of climate change. This makes the book unique to other books that focus either on biodiversity and physical health or natural environments and mental wellbeing. The book is written as a definitive ‘go-to’ book for those who are new to the field of biodiversity and health.

In the current IPBES thematic assessments, health is covered in the report on land degradation and restoration (IPBES 2018). It concludes that it is well established that land degradation adversely affects human well-being through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, which has reached critical levels in many parts of the world. In many contexts, land degradation negatively impacts food and water security, as well as human health and safety. Land degradation generally harms psychological well-being by reducing benefits for mental balance, attention, inspiration and healing. Land degradation has particularly negative impacts on the mental health and spiritual well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities. Finally, land degradation, especially in coastal and riparian areas, increases the risk of storm damage, flooding and landslides, with high socio-economic costs and human losses (IPBES 2018). Therefore, there is a clear relationship between land degradation through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services on human well-being and health, and recognition that land degradation becomes more severe in the face of climate change.

Biodiversity and Physical Health

Biodiversity, Physical Health and Climate Change: A Synthesis of Recent Evidence | Sarah J. Lindley, Penny A. Cook, Matthew Dennis, Anna Gilchrist
Climate Change and Pollen Allergies | Athanasios Damialis, Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, Regina Treudler
Vector-Borne Diseases | Ruth Müller, Friederike Reuss, Vladimir Kendrovski, Doreen Montag
The Influence of Socio-economic and Socio-demographic Factors in the Association Between Urban Green Space and Health | Nadja Kabisch
Green Spaces and Child Health and Development | Payam Dadvand, Mireia Gascon, Iana Markevych

Biodiversity, Mental Health and Spiritual Well-being

Theoretical Foundations of Biodiversity and Mental Well-being Relationships | Melissa R. Marselle
Biodiversity in the Context of ‘Biodiversity – Mental Health’ Research | Sjerp de Vries, Robbert Snep
Review of the Mental Health and Well-being Benefits of Biodiversity | Melissa R. Marselle, Dörte Martens, Martin Dallimer, Katherine N. Irvine
Biodiversity and Spiritual Well-being | Katherine N. Irvine, Dusty Hoesly, Rebecca Bell-Williams, Sara L. Warber

Implications of the Biodiversity and Health Relationship

Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change: Implications for Public Health | Penny A. Cook, Michelle Howarth, C. Philip Wheater
Biodiversity and Health: Implications for Conservation | Zoe G. Davies, Martin Dallimer, Jessica C. Fisher, Richard A. Fuller
Supporting Behavioural Entrepreneurs: Using the Biodiversity-Health Relationship to Help Citizens Self-Initiate Sustainability Behaviour | Raymond De Young
Global Developments: Policy Support for Linking Biodiversity, Health and Climate Change | Horst Korn, Jutta Stadler, Aletta Bonn
European Nature and Health Network Initiatives | Hans Keune, Kerstin Friesenbichler, Barbara Häsler, Astrid Hilgers, Jukka-Pekka Jäppinen, Beate Job-Hoben et al.
Planning and Managing Urban Green Spaces for Biodiversity and Health in a Changing Climate | Front Matter
Nature-Based Solutions and Protected Areas to Improve Urban Biodiversity and Health | Kathy MacKinnon, Chantal van Ham, Kate Reilly, Jo Hopkins
Environmental, Health and Equity Effects of Urban Green Space Interventions | Ruth F. Hunter, Anne Cleary, Matthias Braubach
Resilience Management for Healthy Cities in a Changing Climate | Thomas Elmqvist, Franz Gatzweiler, Elisabet Lindgren, Jieling Liu
Linking Landscape Planning and Health | Stefan Heiland, Julia Weidenweber, Catharine Ward Thompson


Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change: Perspectives for Science, Policy and Practice | Melissa R. Marselle, Jutta Stadler, Horst Korn, Katherine N. Irvine, Aletta Bonn