The significance given to the role of the physical environment in supporting health has waxed and waned over eons of recorded history. Likewise, so too has the significance of the natural environment and efforts to restore and conserve it for the purpose of supporting health. This ebb and flow is represented in the evolving paradigms of the ecological influences on health. Public health has progressed from considerations of the physical environment as a static external entity to a contemporary ecological paradigm with dynamic human environment interactions. The now decades-old "new" public health and full embrace of ecological influences has created the theoretical space for the natural environment to be considered as fundamental to health once again. Current ecological models of health prominently feature the natural environment and biodiversity and ecosystems. The application of the ecological paradigm in public health has been a socio-ecological approach with central organism being human and the focus being the relationships within and between human communities.