Time for a Holistic Approach

May 10, 2021

Inclusive management of life connections and resources

For decades, environmental efforts focused on protecting nature and wildlife apart from humans to minimize impacts. That approach often focused on the “or”—a choice to protect singular resources or particular species, rather than considering the bigger picture—the “and”—inclusive of all life forms and the optimal balance to sustain them.

Today, we embrace a more holistic approach emphasizing interdependence among people, wildlife and our natural environment to support healthy biodiversity and sustainable benefits for all. By proactively pursuing symbiotic relationships throughout—from the smallest organisms to the full spectrum of creatures, plants and resources—holistic approaches focus on strengthening social, economic and ecological systems together, as a whole.

Such measures include natural or naturalized infrastructure solutions designed to achieve greater benefits such as resilience from climate impacts, improved water quality and supply, and sustainable cultivation of food and energy sources. For example, a growing number of communities benefit from existing or constructed wetlands actively managed to promote natural water treatment and supply, while also supporting surrounding residential development, recreation, fisheries, and even green energy production.

Compared with traditional infrastructure built to serve a singular purpose, holistic, multipurpose solutions prove to be more cost-effective and sustainable in the long run, delivering the trifecta of environmental, social, and economic returns on investment.

Environmental Solutions

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