Helsinki Alert – Press Release – May 7 2015 docx (final)

Prominent Doctors and Experts Support Clear Link
Between Nature and Human Health
For immediate release
(Ottawa) May 7, 2015 – The Helsinki Alert of Biodiversity and Health that confirms the connection between the
positive effects of nature on human health is widely endorsed by well-respected doctors and experts.
"Leading medical and life scientists from around the world agree that contact with biodiverse natural
environments in our cities is key to the maintenance of the broad community of microbiota required to promote a
healthy immune system and thus prevent chronic inflammatory diseases" says Dr. John Bienstock, Canadian
immunologist and Order of Canada member who along with primary author Leena von Hertzen and other experts
contributed to the Alert.
According to Dr. J. Bernard Gosevitz, family practitioner and Chief Medical Officer of Rogers Communication Inc.,
“The Helsinki Alert, attributed to this group of prominent medical professionals makes it abundantly clear that the
human species is symbiotically tied to nature, and urban living is making humanity sick on a microbial level.”
“This research shows there is a bigger issue at play. It shows that humanity is affected by the lack of exposure to
nature. This will become an increasing problem. The Canadian Wildlife Federation is the leading organization in
Canada promoting this information and our mission is to take this message to all Canadians,” says Dr. Gosevitz who
also chairs the Canadian Wildlife Foundation.
“The prestigious Helsinki Alert is welcome news to a nature movement that has been growing quickly over the last
decade, a movement that recognizes the gifts of the natural world to body, mind and spirit -- for children and
adults,” affirms Richard Louv, renowned author of “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle,” and
chairman emeritus of the international Children & Nature Network. “Around the world, many pediatricians,
pediatric occupational therapists, and other health professionals are already prescribing or recommending nature
time for the families they serve.”
In March, CWF in partnership with C&NN launched its new Wild Family Nature Clubs, a program that provides
resources and activities for families to engage in outdoor exploration, discovery and play. This new initiative
complements a suite of CWF programs that offer Canadians varied opportunities to connect with nature through
their personal areas of interest and help foster a greater conservation appreciation and ethic.
“The messages and programs coming from organizations like CWF are so important. We continue to encourage
Canadians across this country, in all provinces and territories, to look at our natural spaces and connect and
reconnect at every opportunity. We have the best country on earth. We must conserve it for our children and
future generations to come,” states Dr. Gosevitz
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to
fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts
on the environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the
sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with likeminded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For
more information visit
Pam Logan
Director of Communications
[email protected]
James Bartram
Director of Education
[email protected]