Sustaining Life: How Our Health Depends on Biodiversity

My friend Dr. Eric Chivian, and Dr. Aaron Bernstein, both with Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, have published an excellent summary of the many diverse and vital ways that the natural world sustains our health in a compelling new booklet How our Health Depends on Biodiversity.  Using concrete examples from their award-winning book Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, this booklet shows that human health ultimately depends on the health of the world’s species and well functioning ecosystems. During this International Year of Biodiversity, this booklet and book are important contributions to our understanding of the importance of biodiversity.  In their words:

“We have written this summary because human health is generally not part of the discussions about biodiversity loss, by policy-makers or the general public, and because most people, as a result, do not understand the full magnitude of the biodiversity crisis and do not develop a sense of urgency about addressing it.  We believe that once people really grasp what is at stake for their health and their lives, and for the health and lives of their children, they will do everything in their power to protect the living world.”