Nature connectedness: a metric for a sustainable future

Available on 1 June 2022

Climate change and biodiversity loss show that the human–nature relationship is failing. That relationship can be measured through the construct of nature connectedness which is a key factor in pro-environmental behaviours and mental well-being.

Country-level indicators of extinction of nature experience, consumption and commerce, use and control of nature and negativistic factors were selected. An exploratory analysis of the relationship between these metrics and nature connectedness across adult samples from 14 European countries was conducted (n = 14,745 respondents).

The analysis provides insight into how affluence, technology and consumption are associated with the human–nature relationship. These findings motivate a comparison of how nature connectedness and composite indicators of prosperity, progress, development, and sustainability relate to indicators of human and nature’s well-being.

In comparison to composite indexes, it is proposed that nature connectedness is a critical indicator of human and nature’s well-being needed to inform the transition to a sustainable future.

Full citation

Richardson, M., Hamlin, I., Elliott, L.R., White, M.P., 2022. Country-level factors in a failing relationship with nature: Nature connectedness as a key metric for a sustainable future. Ambio.