Human health and the wise use of wetlands: Guidance in an international policy setting

Colin Finlayson, Pierre Horwitz

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Ramsar Convention has developed guidance to support the wise use of wetlands, including identifying the importance of integrating interventions aimed at biodiversity outcomes with those in support of increased human health and well-being. This guidance provides a basis for promoting the importance of wetlands as settings for human health and well-being. In doing this the Convention accepted the conceptual framework adopted for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and used this to assess the coverage of its wise use handbooks (guidelines or guidance on specific topics). In relation to incorporating human health and well-being into wetland management the following topics were identified as needing further attention: linking human health and well-being with wetland conservation; the maintenance of existing ecosystem services; strengthening collaboration and partnerships; development of integrated wetland policies; extending research and information sharing; assessment of the consequences of wetland management; addressing the impacts of climate change; and capacity building. The reciprocal agenda, where wetland management for ecosystem services becomes a core pursuit of the health sector, is no less extensive and no less difficult a task. The challenge remains to bring the interventions from both the health and the wetland sectors together, building on the guidance established by the Ramsar Convention for the wise use of wetlands, and incorporating their importance as settings for human health and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWetlands and human health
EditorsPierre Horwitz, Philip Weinstein, C Max Finlayson
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789401796095
ISBN (Print)9789401796088
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameWetlands: ecology, conservation and management

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    Finlayson, C., & Horwitz, P. (2015). Human health and the wise use of wetlands: Guidance in an international policy setting. In P. Horwitz, P. Weinstein, & C. M. Finlayson (Eds.), Wetlands and human health (pp. 227-250). (Wetlands: ecology, conservation and management; Vol. 5). Springer-Verlag London Ltd..