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By Dominique Carson

King College in London completed a study that discovered that biodiversity improves overall mental health compared to an environment with fewer natural features. 
   An article from Scientific Reports used Urban Mind, the smartphone app, to study 2,000 participants on how natural diversity and mental health are interconnected. 
   Researchers found that environments with a larger number of natural features, such as trees, birds, plants, and waterways, were associated with greater mental well-being than environments with fewer features and that these benefits can last up to eight hours. 
   However, what is so special about biodiversity that is critical for mental health? Is it the richness of nature or the species included in the environment? 

Biodiversity is interconnected with mental health because you're exposed to nature by viewing parks and forests, and it's known to reduce stress and depression. When you're exposed to nature, you're participating in physical activities and social interaction, which is excellent for mental health. Biodiversity has cognitive benefits because it improves concentration in natural environments. Biodiversity influences your mental performance because it enhances creativity and improves problem-solving abilities. 
   When you interact with nature, you help yourself cope with your emotions and handle life's setbacks. As time passes, you become more content and at peace with yourself. Biodiversity also creates emotional awareness because it allows you to connect with Earth and participate in therapeutic activities associated with nature, which shows how biodiversity is used therapeutically. 

On May 22nd, 2024, also known as Biodiversity Day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres shared his thoughts on biodiversity and its path to recovery. Guterres understands that our survival depends on biodiversity and how important it is to protect ecosystems. 
    "We are contaminating land, oceans, and freshwater with toxic pollution, wrecking landscapes and ecosystems, and disrupting our precious climate with greenhouse gas emissions, " said Guterres. "From driving less to planting a tree to reducing food waste, we can all act now to protect our planet and common future." 
   As we accept nature's correlation with biodiversity, we must recognize how climate change and destructive habitats adversely affect the environment. Therefore, biodiversity needs to be considered so we can have a refreshing natural environment, appreciate the cognitive and emotional benefits behind biodiversity, and understand how biodiverse settings foster resilience and instill a sense of purpose and fulfillment. 

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