Better understanding of consequences of land degradation and restoration for physical and mental health and spiritual well-being
The positive impact of being connected to nature on psychological well-being has been established. Human health is affected in many ways by land degradation, including by an increasing burden of infectious disease (especially vector-borne diseases like malaria), an increase in unsafe drinking water as pollutants are released and the purifying services from forests and wetlands are lost, and a loss of future potential to find new pharmaceuticals. However, the current knowledge is still incomplete on these various aspects as well as the interactions between land degradation and mental health by loss, disconnection or degradation of nature. Land degradation has particularly negative impacts on the mental health and spiritual well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities.