The NATURELAB EU Project Opening Ceremony on June 28th, 2023, served as an opportunity to present our International Collaborative Board (ICB) of external experts that support the consortium, who will be a major key to the design, implementation and validation of Nature-based Interventions (NBI) and to support the project’s wider impact. Conceived to be a consistently growing group throughout the project, the ICB is composed of members with wide experience and multidisciplinary competencies from different geographical contexts.

Meet our first expert, Maria João Figueiras, a researcher in health psychology with experience in Europe and Asia at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, who stresses the existing evidence that shows that connecting with Nature can have beneficial effects on mental and physical well-being by reducing stress levels, decreasing symptoms of anxiety and depression and promoting positive emotions.

From the University of Victoria, Canada, our second expert, Nevin Harper, is an expert in outdoor and adventure-based education and therapy, human-environmental relationships and ecopsychology devoted to Nature-based Therapies (NBT). He strongly believes in our attachment to Nature and that human beings cannot be separated from it, just like a ‘child attaching to a parent in its early years’.

Our last member comes from Brazil, São Paulo: Eliseth Leão is a leader in nature connectedness projects to promote human health and well-being, and the conservation of biodiversity, coming from Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. She mentions that NBT plays a key role in people’s health and well-being because they are aligned or should be aligned with the concepts of human health and planetary health, stressing that ‘People need Nature, and Nature needs the care of People’.

We invite you to meet them all by watching their presentation here.