Healthy by Nature : a forum on the physical & mental health benefits of time spent in nature | Vancouver, September 20-23, 2011

the 2011 charter

The forum was a collaborative venture, with a commitment by organizations and individuals.

Building on the global Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative and the 2010 Melbourne Communiqué, the organizing committee of the 2011 Healthy by Nature forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada presents the Vancouver Healthy by Nature Charter.

This Charter represents a call to action to the people, organizations and governments of Canada to strengthen our understanding, research and connection between improved human health and well-being and access to nature. The collaborating partners believe that people and communities that engage with nature are healthier, stronger and more sustainable economically, socially, culturally and environmentally.

The Healthy by Nature forum comprises a group of professionals representing diverse sectors including health, community and urban planning, environment, parks and recreation, and education. As collaborating partners, we present this charter and the Healthy by Nature principles:

  1. Spending time in nature improves human health and well-being.
  2. Human health depends on healthy ecosystems.
  3. Parks and protected areas contribute to vibrant, healthy communities. 

Our Commitment:

  • We acknowledge the vital role that nature plays in human health, well-being and development and that this connection must be nurtured for the benefit of the environment and humanity.
  • We pledge our commitment to increase our understanding of the interrelationship between human health and well-being and access to nature. Success is reliant on collaboration between multiple sectors, forming alliances of trust, and further research and dissemination on the value of human association with the natural world.
  • We recognize as participants of the Healthy by Nature forum that we are leaders in our field, striving towards a healthy planet and healthy people. We will continue to promote, explore and strengthen the health of green spaces around the world — whether they are parks, backyards, boulevards or abandoned lots — for the benefit of environmental and human health.
  • We accept the challenge of re-connecting people to nature and pledge to do all in our powers to further this important movement.
  • We adopt the Healthy by Nature principles to protect and restore both nature and people.
  • We will continue to offer the opportunity for people, organizations and govern­ments around the world to join the Healthy Parks Healthy People global movement.

Initiated September 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Download the Vancouver 2011 Healthy by Nature Charter (0.5 MB PDF).