Human health is inextricably linked to the health of our environment. To increase the amount and effectiveness of ecological restoration and to further exploring the links with human health outcomes, Gondwana Link has joined the global EcoHealth Network.
We need healthy country if we are to have healthy people. Western Science is now getting better at understanding that, and we are now, working to bring the benefits of that improved understanding of the connections to communities across Gondwana Link.
In 2019 we travelled to St Louis, Missouri to be part of an international workshop at the Missouri Botanic Gardens, which saw the formation of a global EcoHealth Network which we are proud to be members of. Then in early 2020 we joined an EcoHealth workshop in Hobart, which brought together a range of colleagues, including some significant public health researchers and colleagues from New Zealand’s Reconnecting Northland and Tasmania’s North-East Bioregional Network. We now convene a Four Islands EcoHealth group, linking practitioners across Australia and New Zealand.
The Hobart Declaration is an outcome of the EcoHealth Network’s Hobart Workshop Its core message is that ecological restoration activities are good for both ecosystems and people.
With the assistance of colleagues met at these workshops we now have projects in development at key sites across Gondwana Link, and are starting to grasp the complexities of demonstrating and documenting the links between a healthy environment and improved public health. These can take many forms, from the benefits of doing good environmental work, through the respiratory benefits of cleaner air, free from dust and smoke, through to the many ways healthy environments improve our skin and gut microbiome.