First-of-its-kind global study shows "a real and fundamental shift" away from nature
Arlington, VA — February 4, 2008 — New Nature Conservancy-funded research shows that across the U.S. and in other developed nations, people are spending far less time outdoors than ever before. The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers say this study — the most comprehensive look yet at nature recreation — is a "grim confirmation" of a long-held theory that people, especially children, are spending less time in the great outdoors.
The research builds on earlier studies that showed visits to American national parks were declining, and it illustrates that the problem isn’t limited to parks — and isn’t just found in the U.S. "As a scientist and a conservationist, I find these results almost terrifying," said Oliver Pergams, assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lead author of the study. "We are seeing a fundamental shift away from people's interest in nature, not just in the US but in other countries, too. The consequences of this could be deep and far-ranging for health, for human well-being, and for the future of the planet."
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Way Upstream Productions 2008