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Thriving Environment is about having a clean, healthy environment for all, one that is free from environmental hazards, one that is resilient to future changes and threats, and one that fulfills our needs to connect with nature.
Thriving Environment is one of seven interrelated “vital conditions” that comprise the Vital Conditions for Community Health and Well-being framework. The framework helps us understand the systems that produce equitable well-being for all, and opportunities to shift those systems and drive improvement. Learn more about the Vital Conditions framework >>
Healthy environments provide clean air, clean water, clean land, and well-functioning ecosystems. Poor environments can lead to acute and chronic health problems ranging from premature death from air pollution, cancer from land and water contamination, developmental disabilities from mercury and lead, and a range of other detrimental outcomes. Where direct health impacts are not a concern, environmental degradation still threatens the natural systems upon which humans rely. Pesticides can break links in the food chain, polluted runoff can destroy productive estuarine systems, and climate change can cause severe weather events, flooding, and change growing conditions in food producing areas.
There are myriad opportunities to improve conditions for Thriving Environment in communities. Some of the most significant opportunities pertain to:
- Preserving and restoring environmental systems;
- Implementing sustainable development practices; and
- Responding to the climate crisis and building resilience.