News Round-Up

Biodiversity: how our health and happiness depend on a thriving planet

Source: theconversation.com

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, more of us are noticing the variety of animals, trees, and flowers in our back gardens or local park – and how being in contact with nature can influence our happiness.

This variety of life is known as biodiversity and it’s essential for our health and wellbeing. We depend on biodiversity in the natural world for the water we drink, the food we eat and the clean air we breathe.

But reports show that it is declining at an unprecedented rate – and that this is likely to lead to huge economic and health risks. For example, farming relies on bees and butterflies to pollinate plants, which create fruits and vegetables. Losing pollinators will cost the UK agricultural sector up to £700 million each year, and would seriously affect the country’s food supply.

Our new research study looks at the various ways plants, animals, insects and the bacteria around us can, indirectly, be beneficial to human health (and how in some instances they can actually be harmful). Below are the four main takeaways from our research. MORE

Header image: Juergen Bauer Pictures.