The Human Habitat: Using the Law to balance Health, Wellbeing and Nature Protection

The Human Habitat: Using the Law to balance Health, Wellbeing and Nature Protection   

Where do you live? In a built-up city? In the heart of nature? Or somewhere between the two? What is your attitude to spending time in nature and how much do you know about the physical and mental benefits of spending time in a rural environment?

Following shortly after International #WorldCitiesDay, these were some of the questions asked by the UKELA Nature Conservation Public Health & Environmental Law Working Parties yesterday at a joint presentation on ‘Using the law to balance health, wellbeing and nature protection’.


Tavis Potts, Reader in environmental geography at the University of Aberdeen, gave an interesting presentation on Natural Capital and Marine EcoSystem Services, encouraging a natural capital approach to the marine environment and emphasising the need for an increased acknowledgement of this habitat in policy and government decision-making.  He outlined his recent work with coastal communities to understand and map their natural capital to support wellbeing.  Tavis presented directly from his office at Aberdeen University, true to his commitment to cut carbon emissions and declining the invitation to fly to London for the seminar. 

Other speakers included Debbie Tripley, Director of Environmental Policy and Advocacy, WWF UK and Professor Paul Leonard, Environmental Scientist and Honorary Professor at Brunel University.  Debbie looked briefly at the history of environmental protection in England, from the construction of the Natural History Museum as a ‘cathedral to nature’ in 1881, to the shortcomings of the present day draft Environment Bill, stressing her concerns that we need stronger environmental protection laws post-Brexit and a systemic change in our way of thinking.  Paul Leonard gave an engaging overview of the progress of science-based evidence for our seas. Paul h

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About the author:
Andrea is a Professional Support Lawyer at LexisNexis, specialising in environmental law. She has a background in contaminated land and environmental insurance, and a Masters degree in waste management. She qualified in 1997 at Browne Jacobson and later worked in the Environment and Planning team at SJ Berwin, before moving in house to work as Senior Solicitor at Certa (UK) Ltd. More recently Andrea has worked as a legal consultant, completing projects for blue chip companies. Andrea is an active member of the UK Environmental Law Association.