Forests for Public Health
Forests have diverse values and functions that produce not only material products, but also non-material services. The health functions provided by forests have been used for a very long time, but they have only been emphasized in many fields of society in recent years.
The rapid increase in urbanization and the problems of stress, sedentary occupations, and hazardous urban environmental conditions due to modern life may be factors that place great demand on forests’ health functions. Scientific research has shown that there are various psychological and physiological human health benefits of exposure to forests, parks, and green spaces.
This collection of papers highlights up-to-date findings and evidence to reveal the beneficial effects of forests on human and public health. The findings provided here can be implemented in practice and policy using forests and nature for human and public health.
Dr Christos Gallis is the Research Director at the Forest Research Institute, Greece, with over 20 years’ experience in research and lecturing on forests and human health worldwide. He is an IUFRO Scientific Officeholder and Research Coordinator and Vice-President of the International Association for Nature and Forest Welfare, Korea. He is also a Board Member of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine, Japan. His publications include Forests, Trees and Human Health (as co-editor; 2011) and Green Care: For Human Therapy, Social Innovation, Rural Economy, and Education (as editor; 2013).
Won Sop Shin is a Professor of Social Forestry at Chungbuk National University, South Korea. As former Minister of the Korea Forest Service, he has been involved in many forest therapy research projects, the development of protected forest areas in forest therapy centres nationally, and leadership with the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine. He is also Chairperson of Committee on Forestry for the Food and Agriculture Organization.
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