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Jake M. Robinson, Christian Cando-Dumancela, Rachael E. Antwis, Ross Cameron, Craig Liddicoat, Ravin Poudel, Philip Weinstein, Martin F. Breed, Anna Jorgensen, and Brenda Parker
Ninety-five percent of Earth’s land could be degraded by 2050. This includes losses to macro-biodiversity and vital microbial-mediated ecological functions. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the global trends of ecosystem degradation and both infectious and noncommunicable diseases are intricately connected. Restoration should ideally be a socioecological endeavour and there is much to gain by taking a systems thinking approach and applying integrated strategies to promote both ecosystem and human health. An example is a nature-based health intervention, which aims to facilitate behavioural changes that benefit health and wellbeing through the structured promotion of nature-based activities––such as restoration and biodiversity conservation. Another approach is through studying and enhancing the environmental microbiome, which has important implications for the functionality and resilience of ecosystems and human health. Here, I will present case studies of systems thinking approaches and applications of integrated strategies in restoration and public health. I will showcase nature-based interventions (sometimes called ‘green prescriptions’) and an exploration of environmental microbiome dynamics including spatio-compositional factors of the aerobiome in urban green spaces. I will also present underexplored threats to the microbiome –– and perhaps under-considered factors in restoration –– that is, anthropogenic sound and artificial light pollution. Considering these factors and understanding how they interconnect could have important implications for ecosystems and public health. By seeking interconnectedness and understanding feedback loops, larger things (flourishing ecosystems and healthy people) can emerge from smaller parts.
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program