Positive Psychology and Ecology

Original title: Psychologie Positive et Ecologie

Author: Garnier, Lisa

Publication Date:

May 2019



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Animals & Nature, Environment, Psychology

Positive Psychology and Ecology

Original title: Psychologie Positive et Ecologie

Author: Garnier, Lisa

  • 2 Seas represents: Dutch, Nordic and North American rights.


Preface by Gilles Bœuf

In the course of the last two decades, two apparently unconnected sciences have sought to understand human well-being: on one side, positive psychology studies how our positive emotions are born and maintained to bring us well-being and happiness. On the other, the biodiversity sciences seek to protect and conserve nature which, after all, enables the very existence of humankind in the air that we breathe, the foods that it yields and in its vital importance in our cultures.

This book offers a study of both fields of research in which science rediscovers the importance of relationships. With supporting data, we discover how to feel happy and well within ourselves, with others and in contact with nature.

The author first shows what studies into biodiversity and psychology have in common, through a deeper sense of the notions of connection, resilience and cooperation. She then goes onto explore urban landscapes, long neglected by ecologists for lacking the diversity of natural environments. It is however in the heart of the concrete jungle that psychology has discovered how beneficial nature can be at alleviating stress. The author finally looks at positive psychology to study how humans flourish amid nature.

Despite acknowledgement of the inestimable good that nature does us, our biodiversity is under serious threat. How might the natural and human worlds cohabit?

How to live together in serenity and happiness has become a major issue of the 21st century. Psychology has discovered how a diversity of species and plant life in our daily lives can have a huge calming influence on us and help our brains function to their best capacity. Nature feeds our positive emotions so it seems logical that, from the encounter between these two disciplines, there might be lessons to learn for a better life together in the future.

A former journalist, Lisa Garnier is a specialist in biodiversity. She has produced a large number of extensive reports for the Ushuaia Nature magazine and for the Tara Océans planetary expedition. Having devoted herself to theater and photography, she worked for Paris’s National Natural History Museum where she developed participative experiences, managing a citizens’ nature observation blog, Vigie-Nature – “nature’s watchdog”. In spring 2019, a documentary about flowering plants presented by her will be broadcast on French national television.