Interview with
Matilda van den Bosch

Who are you and for what partner organisation do you work?I am Matilda van den Bosch and I share my working time as a senior researcher between the Barcelona Institute […]


Who are you and for what partner organisation do you work?
I am Matilda van den Bosch and I share my working time as a senior researcher between the Barcelona Institute for Global health in Spain and the European Forest Institute’s Biocities Facility in Rome, Italy. I am also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

What is your expertise related to nature-based therapy?
I have a background in medicine and a PhD in landscape planning and public health with a strong interdisciplinary focus, aiming to identify solutions that promote healthy people together with healthy ecosystems. Over the past 15 years, I have conducted research to elucidate associations between nature contact and, for example, healthy childhood neurodevelopment, stress resilience, and mental health and wellbeing. Being a physician, I was a pioneer in the research around the beneficial impacts of nature on health and I was the primary editor of the first textbook on the topic, published by the Oxford University Press.

Can you describe the Work Package (WP) you lead in a couple of sentences?
I am co-leading WP2 with Dr. Jill Litt and the goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of ongoing nature-based therapy (NbT) programmes across the globe. Initially, we will conduct a scoping review to evaluate where programmes exist and what components contribute to making the therapies successful, for example what type of nature, or what type of activity is promoted in the therapy, and relate this to different health outcomes. This information will guide the development of an interactive online mapping tool, where all scientifically assessed NbTs will be displayed, including description of therapeutic approaches and other key components, such as costs, environmental setting, and referral mechanisms. The tool will be open and available for anyone interested in engaging in NbTs, including policy makers and practitioners from health care, social practice, and landowners.

What excites you most about the RESONATE project?
RESONATE takes a genuinely holistic approach to the nature and health relation and that excites me a lot. To my knowledge, RESONATE is the first larger NbT-project that will, throughout all activities, assess not only human health, but also the impact on environment, equity, and society. This makes me very motivated and enthusiastic about the project since I see how it links up with the broader global agenda for a sustainable future for everyone and for the planet.

What is your own favourite way to engage with nature for your health and wellbeing?
I have always been passionate about trees and on my daily walks to and from work, I tend to feel a certain connection to the different street trees along my way and even though this is a quite passive engagement, I believe it brings strength to my day. On a grander, more active scale, I love mountains and take every opportunity to go out hiking or climbing in the Pyrenees or other rocky landscapes.

X: @piegonetta
LinkedIn: Matilda van den Bosch
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