added a research item
Human Health protection
The amended Federal Nature Conservation Act which entered into force on 1 March 2010 assigns to nature conservation greater importance in terms of health protection by stating in § 1, para 1 (Purposes of nature conservation and landscape management): 'By virtue of their intrinsic value and importance as a basic necessity of human life, and also as a responsibility to future generations, nature and landscapes in both populated and non-populated areas are to be conserved and protected'. Thus the protection of nature serves not only to conserve certain habitats with their specific flora and fauna, but also to protect the basis of life and human well-being. Up to now health protection has been neglected as a subject matter of nature conservation although the links between nature (conservation) and health are manifold. In addition to the many ecosystem services such as the supply of drinking water, clean air, the provision of food and medicines, nature also offers spaces for recreation, tourism and sports activities and is thus key to human psychological and physical well-being. These benefits so far have been perceived as being available without limit and free of charge. Conservationists should take advantage of the broadened focus of the Act, using it to raise public awareness of the importance of nature for human health. Such an approach could lend nature conservation objectives broader support, which would greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their implementation. For a high degree of efficiency to be achieved, it will be essential to link ecological and health research more closely, while also developing joint nature conservation and health protection strategies.