During the week of May 31 to June 4, the III Ibero-American Summit Nature, Health and Well-being was held, with the opening speech of the Deputy Delegate of Natural Spaces of the Diputación de Barcelona, Mr. Valentí Junyent, as well as the Executive Director of FTHub, Alex Gesse.
Experts and researchers from Spain, Portugal, Canada, the United States, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and partner countries such as Great Britain, Italy, Latvia and others shared knowledge, case studies and research on mental health and well-being, forest therapy, forest bathing, public policies and sustainability.
They also addressed the management of protected green spaces, ecopsychology and environmental psychology, green prescription and social prescribing, adventure therapy and nature therapy, planetary health and ecotourism, among other topics.
Xavier Roget, Tourism and Culture Advisor of the Diputación de Barcelona’s Parks Network, celebrated the meeting as an “opportunity to constantly incorporate experiences and scientific evidence of the development of these topics” and announced the drafting of the “strategic health and well-being plan of the Barcelona Parks Network” in the coming weeks.
In his turn, Alex Gesse from Forest Therapy Hub, co-organizing institution of the Summit together with the Diputació de Barcelona, highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge as a permanent scientific and professional attitude, while giving details about the importance of the FTHub Method for the design and implementation of well-being nature based practices, especially Forest Therapy. “We like to understand exposure to nature as a circle that brings benefits, from the passive attitude of just being breathing the forest air, to the active attitude in nature to create a relationship with the environment around us.”
Forest Therapy Practitioners from Scotland (Dr. Hugh Asher), Italy (Manuela Renzi), Latvia (Dr Inga Dreimane) and Spain (Johanna Maluenda Terreros and Marta Ayats) presented their work with populations with arthritis, adolescents, addiction rehabilitation and mental health problems.
Researchers such as Kirsten McEwan from the United Kingdom and Lis Leao from Brazil, presented the results of their studies on Forest Bathing and depression, in the first place, and the use of nature images for the well-being of patients and healthcare personnel, in the second place.
A panel of pioneers such as Marta Pahissa, Environmentalist and Head of Environmental Transformation at DKV Seguros, Melissa Lem, head of PaRx Canada, and Dr. Jill Litt, Professor of Environmental Health in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder and associate researcher at ISGlobal Barcelona, presented in the module Green Prescription and Social Prescription, where they gave an account of the challenges and achievements in their work to implement the green prescription in different areas and countries.
In addition, FTHub’s scientific reports were presented in collaboration with researchers from different disciplines: Standard of essential characteristics of healthy green spaces, with Gorka Altuna, Forestry Engineer (Spain), and Safe spaces in forest bathing and forest therapy with Susan Andrien, Forest Therapy Practitioner and Therapist (USA).
In the third edition of this unprecedented online Summit that culminated with an experiential June 4th of forest bathing walks in different cities around the world by FTHub Guides and Professionals, registrations exceeded 700 people and live attendance reached 200. FTHub is gradually publishing the talks on the website.
Ph: Forest Bathing Guides and Forest Therapy Practitioners Guadalupe Garibay Chavez, Rocio Ferraro, Ana Plantier, Cristina Rodriguez.