Nature-based solutions & Nature-based therapy
Our proposal is built on a conceptual framework that consortium members developed specifically for this proposal: Nature-based Biopsychosocial Resilience Theory (NBRT). This framework places the concept of resilience at the heart of why nature helps reduce stress, promote health and prevent disease, and distinguishes between two related but distinct mechanisms for “bringing nature back into our lives”: Nature-based Solutions (NbSs) and Nature-based Therapies (NbTs). NbSs integrate elements of the natural world into urban infrastructures, e.g. through tree planting or urban wetland restoration. Broadly speaking, NbSs bring nature closer to people. In synergy, NbTs support people to connect with natural elements available in their surroundings, including those associated with NbSs. NbTs bring people closer to nature.
Community resilience
In line with the call, RESONATE is primarily concerned with NbTs, but our aim is to take a broad and inclusive approach that recognises multiple ways of connecting individuals and communities to nature by building resilience. By bringing nature closer to people, NbSs play a role in building and maintaining community level or social-ecological resilience to environmental stressors such as air pollution, excess heat, and noise. NbSs promote health and reduce disease by reducing the number and severity of environmental stressors communities encounter. In contrast, by bringing people closer to nature, NbTs build and maintain resilience at the intra- and inter- individual level, in terms of biological processes (e.g., improved immune functioning), psychological processes (e.g., more accurate threat and coping appraisals), and social processes (e.g., richer social networks). These nature-based biopsychosocial resilience resources can both “buffer” people against new stressors, which we call protective resilience, and restore them more quickly/effectively from stressful situations, which we call recovery resilience.
Individual resilience
Building individual-level biopsychosocial resilience through NbTs not only helps people manage stress and promote/protect their own health, it can also improve the resilience of social-ecological systems. For instance, NbTs can support environmental goals by engaging people in conservation activities and by strengthening nature connectedness and pro-environmental attitudes/behaviours which help to promote and protect NbSs. This virtuous circle demonstrates how we can build both ‘individual and community REsilience thrOugh NATurE-based therapies’ (RESONATE). The distinction between protective and recovery resilience highlights how NbTs are not simply “therapies” that help people experiencing stress to recover, they also have the potential to be “therapeutic” by building biopsychosocial resources that can protect people against the impact of future potential stressors.
Nature-based Therapy types
NbT types can be identified at all three levels of the health promotion/disease prevention pyramid.

• Level 1 initiatives target whole groups/populations and use nature to help people take control over their own health and prevent the root causes of ill health; they tend to come under the umbrella of health promotion. People in countries that encouraged citizens to visit local nature during early COVID-19 lockdowns, for instance, showed lower symptoms of anxiety and depression.

• Level 2 initiatives tend to focus on at-risk populations, encouraging those with, for instance, high blood pressure or sedentary behaviours, to access nature in order to engage in physical activity and reduce their risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. Due to their more targeted nature, Level 2 initiatives are generally considered as disease prevention.

• Finally, Level 3 initiatives support individuals with existing mental and/or physical conditions (e.g. clinical psychological symptoms, restricted mobility) in accessing nature, to help manage their symptoms, reduce further complications, and possibly treat certain issues. Level 3 initiatives are thus more in line with lay perceptions of “therapy”, as a treatment for existing conditions.