Finding common ground: environmental ethics, social justice, and a sustainable path for nature-based health promotion
Decades of research have documented continuous tension between anthropocentric needs and the environment’s capacity to accommodate those needs and support basic human welfare. The way in which society perceives, manages, and ultimately utilizes natural resources can be influenced by underlying environmental ethics, or the moral relationship that humans share with the natural world. This discourse often centers on the complex interplay between the tangible and intangible benefits associated with nonhuman nature (e.g., green space), both of which are relevant to public health. When ecosystem degradation is coupled with socio-demographic transitions, additional concerns related to distributional equity and justice can arise. In this commentary, we explore how environmental ethics can inform the connection between the ecosystem services from green space and socially just strategies of health promotion.