The Department for Environment and Water

Healthy Parks Healthy People SA

A large amount of research has demonstrated the strong connections between contact with nature and human health and wellbeing, including physical and psychological health, and social and cultural wellbeing.

The Department for Environment and Water and the Department for Health and Wellbeing (DHW) have a long-standing relationship around many issues, and a history of successfully collaborating on a number of policy areas of mutual interest.

The aim of this PHPA is to set out the parameters for collaboration between DEW and DHW, and provides a basis for DEW and DHW to work in partnership to build public value of parks in South Australia, and improve the health and wellbeing of populations through a combination of broad policies, programs and targeted initiatives.

Key outcome

A key outcome of this partnership has been the development and implementation of the Healthy Parks Healthy People SA (HPHPSA) approach. HPHPSA is a nature-based approach for simultaneously improving population health and environmental outcomes - enabling the environment and health sectors to work more closely together and focus resources towards implementing innovative approaches to health and wellbeing and conservation.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People South Australia Framework

The framework Healthy Parks, Healthy People South Australia 2016-2021: Making Contact with Nature, Second Nature (PDF 5.7MB) sets out seven focus areas:

  • promoting physical activity in nature
  • mental health benefits of contact with nature
  • promoting the cultural value of Country for Aboriginal health and wellbeing
  • community health and wellbeing in a changing climate
  • childhood development and nature
  • green infrastructure and urban settings, and biodiversity, conservation and human health.

The Healthy Parks Health People SA information sheet (PDF 438KB) provides a short summary of the framework.

Action plans

Over the framework’s five-year lifespan, action plans will be rolled out, guided by a leadership group co-chaired by the Chief Executive of the Department for Environment and Water and the Deputy Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing.

To date, three of the seven focus areas have been actively progressed, including the release of two action plans.

Focus areas:

Focus areas update