Biodiversity, environmental health and human well-being: analysis of linkages and pathways
Prince Adjei () and
Frank Agyei ()
Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, 2015, vol. 17, issue 5, 1085-1102
Well-being, a condition of positive physical, social and mental state of life, has become a prime focus of research in recent years as people seek to achieve and sustain it. Interacting with the natural environment has been established as a way of acquiring well-being benefits. However, the extent to which well-being depends on various aspects of the environment particularly biodiversity has received less attention. This paper examines the relationship between the level of biodiversity in an environment and human well-being. The depression and happiness scale was employed to sample 236 visitors of eight green spaces in Anglesey and Gwynedd, North Wales, while also noting socio-demographic and environmental factors such as perceived naturalness, density of visitors and noise level to establish the relationship. In each green space, the levels of native and introduced plant diversity were estimated. The paper established that level of ecological diversity determines level of people’s wellness and happiness derived from a green environment. Visitors to green spaces with higher plant diversity receive higher levels of happiness. Significantly too, diversity of introduced species was a better predictor than native plant diversity. Perceived naturalness, density of visitors and visitors’ age was also predictors of happiness. It is concluded that increasing the level of biodiversity in an environment could improve people’s well-being. However, the finding about introduced versus native species deserves more attention. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015
Keywords: Biodiversity; Natural environment; Happiness; Environment health; Human well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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