ARCHIVE: Why is the natural environment important?
We all depend on the natural environment. It provides the essentials of life, inspires us, and is central to our health, wealth and happiness. But we are currently not using it sustainably.
Changing and growing pressures are telling us that we need a fresh approach to managing and using our natural environment. We know how to do things in a better way, and there is a strong economic case for action too:
We get a lot from our natural environment: resources and raw materials to use, services to support us and personal benefits from enjoying it. As a society we need to value these benefits and, by doing so, ensure that people can benefit now and in future.
By looking at how different bits of the environment are connected, we can make better decisions and open up new opportunities.
We will need to work together, understanding how individual and collective actions affect the natural environment upon which we depend.
Did you know?
- It is estimated that 60% of the natural services that we depend on are in decline due to poor management or over use. (source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment).
- The world is losing 50 Billion Euros worth of natural services from biodiversity loss each year (source: TEEB interim report)
- Research from across Europe shows that people living in greener environments are three times more likely to be physically active and 40 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese
- Creating 10,000ha of woodland per year for 15 years could absorb up to 50m tonnes of CO2 between now and 2050
Page last modified: 11 October 2010
Page published: 11 December 2009