Jo Hopkins is passionate about the health and well-being benefits derived from nature. Currently the Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships at Parks Victoria, Australia, Jo has extensive experience in ...
IUCN WCPA Health and Well-Being Specialist Group
Overview and description
The Health and Well-being Specialist Group promotes the health and well-being benefits of nature across the conservation, health and other sectors.The Health and Well-being Specialist Group promotes the health and well-being benefits of nature across the conservation, health and other sectors.
Ms Jo HOPKINS
Jo Hopkins is passionate about the health and well-being benefits derived from nature. Currently the Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships at Parks Victoria, Australia, Jo has extensive experience in park and protected area management. She was part of the team that established the Healthy Parks Healthy People approach to managing parks and has continued that work for over 20 years. Jo has a combination of substantial professional experience with a deep commitment to the vital role that parks, and protected areas play in ensuring a healthy natural world. Jo is Chair of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, Health and Well-being Specialist Group and is also Co-Chair of the World Urban Parks Advocacy Committee. Jo collaborates with many organisations to influence local, national and international policy advocating for parks as a nature-based solution to some of the world’s most pressing global challenges., full_html
Prof Denise HEWLETT
Contact with nature is critical for our physical, mental, social and spiritual health and wellbeing. Indigenous Peoples have known of these fundamental connections for tens of thousands of years. Yet our environment is facing significant challenges from continuing degradation of our ‘natural capital’, including soil, water and biodiversity loss, which underpins healthy ecosystems and provides a wide range of services that sustain our livelihoods and wellbeing.
By 2050, the world’s urban population will double to over 7 billion and safeguarding nature as an increasingly scarce resource for our future health and well-being is vital. The natural environment, including national parks and other protected areas, urban green spaces, wetlands and oceans all act as crucial gateways that connect people with nature.
This Specialist Group facilitates cross sector partnerships to influence policies and plans across sectors, builds and communicates the evidence on benefits of nature for human health and well-being and encourages the development of standard metrics to measure the co-benefits.
There are three key objectives of the Health and Well-being Specialist Group:
- Contribute to further building the evidence and knowledge base on health and well-being interdependencies between natural planetary ecosystems and human populations.
- Mainstream the knowledge of health and well-being implications of nature across the conservation, health and other sectors though development of interdisciplinary materials, case studies, tools and programs.
- Facilitate partnerships at a global, regional, national and sub‐national scale, between entities working on environmental health and human health to influence policies and plans across sectors that support programs in parks and protected areas.
The Health and Well-being Specialist Group works with other groups within the IUCN that have a focus on connecting people with nature including #NatureForAll, Urban Conservation Strategies and ecosystem services groups.