Our health is intimately linked to the health of our natural world. We share with animals much of the same biology, diseases, and dependence on a healthy environment - this is the One Health concept. Because we share so much with other species, when different disciplines work together to promote health, the benefits can be seen in multiple species and ways - this is One Health practice. With over 280 million visitors annually, over 400 park units across all 50 states, and a commitment to protect the health of natural resources and humans, national parks offer a unique opportunity to practice and promote One Health. The National Park Service is working to improve the health of humans, animals, and the environment while protecting and preserving our natural treasures - this is One Health in action.
- Humans depend on nature in many different ways. Natural environments and green spaces improve mental, physical, and community health as well. Nature provides us food, clean water, medicines, and clothing. No matter where or how you live, you need nature to survive.
- When natural resources and other species are directly impacted by development or overexploitation, we are often impacted. Some of these changes to the land, air, and water promote the spread of disease while others compromise the health of the resources we and wildlife depend on for survival.
- However, if we protect natural resources and ecological processes, we can help protect ourselves and the health of all species.