Goldberg, S. (2021, November). Mindful nature connection & climate change. Ara.
This ‘nature connection guidebook’ is the second part of a community engagement project funded in 2021 by the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust. Completed as part of a student project for BSOE701 at Ara, its purpose was to explore the relationship between people and their environment and to integrate mindful nature connection with conservation and outdoor education as a way to support human and environmental wellbeing.
The guidebook explains that research on human wellbeing is particularly important in a worsening climate change scenario. This is because as climate-driven natural disasters increase in severity and frequency, more people are experiencing grief, fear, stress, anxiety, and many other psychological conditions as a consequence of directly experiencing such events or constantly learning about them through media. It also explains that understanding the connections between the environment and human wellbeing can motivate people to take action in response to climate change
This guidebook provides fun and easy ways for people of all ages to practice mindful presence, connection, reciprocity, and care in nature. It embraces a socio-ecological approach and encourages people to spend time in nature, hold space to process emotions, and connect with their community. To help with this, the report shares frameworks like the ‘whare tapa whā’ model, a three-part framework encouraging people to ‘take action’, ‘do something’, and ‘raise [their] consciousness’, and ideas like nature connection, mindfulness, kaitiakitanga, and environmental stewardship.