A COVID-19 Story: Biodiversity and Human Health

1 February 2021

Did you know that biodiversity is a key element for our wellbeing, including our physical and mental health? Did you also know that there is a link between biodiversity loss and increased risks of pandemics? 2020 and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for humanity: it shows that we need to restore our broken relationship with nature.

Currently, scientists believe that we are facing the sixth mass extinction due to the current rates of biodiversity loss. Despite global efforts to halt and revert the negative trend, the Convention on Biological Diversity showed that after 10 years of global efforts none of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets were fully achieved, risking the provisioning of ecosystem services and threatening our wellbeing.

During the lockdowns, many people had a hard time coping while many others found nature as a source for wellbeing. Inspired by the webinar “Nature and Human health” given by Green Office and the BEE+ team, different experts elaborated on how nature is a driver of human well-being and can help people face the struggles of lockdown depression.

If we restore our relationships with nature by enjoying the mental benefits that it offers at a personal level, we can achieve positive behaviors and contribute to the conservation of nature and biodiversity, leading to sustainable actions and choices.

Artwork and article by Katherine Pulido,
MS Sustainable Development student at KU Leuven.