Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/121735
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Type: Journal article
Title: Green prescriptions and their co-benefits: integrative strategies for public and environmental health
Author: Robinson, J.
Breed, M.F.
Citation: Challenges, 2019; 10(1):9-1-9-14
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 2078-1547
2078-1547
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Jake M. Robinson and Martin F. Breed
Abstract: There is a growing recognition of the links between the increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases, environmental concerns including biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and socioecological issues such as ecological (in)justice. This has encouraged a number of recent calls for the development of integrative approaches aimed at addressing these issues – also known as nature-based solutions. An example of an emerging nature-based solution is a ‘green prescription’, broadly defined as a nature-based health intervention. Green prescriptions are typically designed for patients with a defined need and have the potential to supplement orthodox medical treatments, particularly those aimed at addressing noncommunicable diseases. It is also thought that green prescriptions could bring about significant environmental, economic, and social co-benefits¬. However, researchers have recently expressed concerns over taking the ‘dose of nature’ approach, in that it may be too reductionistic for the complex social settings in which it is provided. Here we frame a holistic philosophical perspective and discuss green prescribing logic, types, mechanisms and fundamental remaining questions and challenges. We place significant emphasis on the potential co-benefits of green prescriptions and the importance of taking a planetary health approach. More research is needed to determine how this potential can be realised and to further understand the complexities of the nature-human health relationship. However, with additional research and support, there is huge potential for green prescriptions to contribute to both reactive (health care) and proactive (health promoting) public health solutions whilst enhancing the natural environment.
Keywords: Green prescriptions; planetary health; urban nature; biodiversity; microbiome; mental health; nature connectedness; greenspace; noncommunicable diseases; nature-based interventions
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
DOI: 10.3390/challe10010009
Grant ID: ARC
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Environment Institute publications

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