The Network for Ecosystem Sustainability & Health was established as a not-for-profit organization, registered in the Province of Ontario, Canada in 1998. The founding Directors were University researchers and consultants who were part of a community of experts and practitioners developing and applying ecosystem approaches to human health and well-being.

Then, as now, NESH provided a platform to engage communities and organizations that was more flexible that allowed by Universities, and that avoided the for-profit environment of consultancies.

Conceived as a network of actors in adaptive ecosystem approaches to health (ecohealth), NESH currently operates under the guidance of a Board of Directors and an international network of advisors, with associate members appointed to undertake work under the NESH label.