The rapid spread of COVID-19 has created an unprecedented global health, economic, and geopolitical crisis. While the arrival and spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand created feelings of fear, terror, anxiety, uncertainty, and anticipatory grief within communities, connecting with nature helped generate a sense of calm, brought joy and eased numerous anxieties during these uncertain times.
The environment plays a significant role in people’s well-being. By slowing down during lockdown people connected with nature via a range of pathways. This kōrero presents reflections and insights from two research projects conducted by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research during and following lockdown in 2020 (Connecting with Nature and Maximising Well-being post COVID-19). It outlines how people connected with nature during lockdown and their aspirations of well-being for themselves and NZ society more widely.
Alison Greenaway focuses on the co-production of knowledge for sustainable development. Inspired by stories of ki uta ki tai her work supports holistic governance connecting people, ecosystem flows and landscapes across New Zealand. Alison leads the Social Change capability group in Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and has a PhD in Geography.
Dean Stronge is a researcher (social science) at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. His current research interests include well-being, social licence to operate and invasive species management. His research seeks to gain insights into stakeholders’ perspectives and to inform and improve decision-making about environmental issues.