On 7 October 2020 we – Nature For Health, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Van Gogh Nationaal Park, Wageningen University organized – with involvement of Kunstloc Brabant – the Debate “Healing Landscape, Healing the Landscape”, in Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands, as part of the Healing Landscape Day in the Van Gogh National Park.

The Day was a partner event of the EU Green Weeks 2020 and was honoured by the presence of the Director-General of the World Health Organization and the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

The Healing Landscape Day including the Debate resulted in the “Van Gogh Healing Landscape Declaration”, which, inter alia, states the following:

“We want to be part of a worldwide movement on nature and health and will work with overriding priority on restoring the balance between humans and their natural environment for the health of both, people and nature alike. After the Corona epidemic there should be no intention to go back to the old “normal”. We define the new “normal” as a world where the well-being and health of people and of nature are in balance”

We invite you to reflect on this Declaration, to share your perspective and to picture our world in the spirit of Vincent van Gogh.

As a follow-up of the Declaration, the Van Gogh National Park, which has a lot of potential to link health and happiness to local communities, will become an inspiring testing ground for healing landscapes. In this way, the Park can become “the landscape of the future”. Vincent van Gogh himself was inspired by the Brabant landscapes he knew from his youth. But he also badly needed nature for his sanity later in life.

We will communicate this Van Gogh Healing Landscapes Declaration to policy-makers, citizens groups, health care organizations, enterprises, scientists and other stakeholders all around the word, and will reflect the essence of this appeal in our policies and actions.

As the President Van Gogh Nationaal Park, Yvo Kortmann, said: “We are all Vincent van Gogh”