Interventions required to enhance wetlands as settings for human well-being

Pierre Horwitz, Colin Finlayson, Ritesh Kumar

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

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The close relationship that exists between food production, water use and water extraction dictates that those charged with wetland management consider a broader societal objective that extends beyond nature conservation and a sectoral or simplistic approach to natural resource management. Given the interactions that occur between wetlands and human health is it imperative that wetland managers are involved in efforts to build and sustain the coping capacity of affected human communities, and to recognize that these efforts will need to operate at local, national, or regional levels. This is because the factors, such as poverty and high burdens of disease, that place populations at risk can also limit the capacity of these populations to prepare for the future, or in this instance, make wise use of their wetland ecosystems. In proposing ways in which societies can intervene via wetland management we draw significantly on material presented in a similarly titled chapter of a Ramsar Technical Report, and from a Resolution passed by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 2012 Conference of Parties in Romania. Many of the possible response options for addressing ecosystem change and human health and well-being lie outside the direct control of the wetland and water sectors, or indeed, even the health sector. Instead they are likely to be embedded in areas such as sanitation and water supply, education and training, agriculture and fisheries, trade, tourism, transport, development, housing and infrastructure. As a consequence integrated interventions will need to address existing social values and cultural norms, existing infrastructure, and the social, economic, and demographic driving forces that result in wetland change. This includes ensuring steps are taken to enable marginalised stakeholders to be effectively represented at all stages of the management cycle, increased transparency and access to information, and engaging with and supporting the core pursuits of other sectors. Possible responses could encompass steps to: promote cross-sectoral governance and institutional structures; promote and rationalize incentive structures; support social and behavioural responses, including capacity building, communication and empowerment; develop technological solutions such as a way of enhancing multi functionality of ecosystems; and develop other cognitive responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWetlands and human health
EditorsC. Max Finlayson, Pierre Horwitz, Philip Weinstein
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Germany
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd.
Chapter10
Pages193-226
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9789401796095
ISBN (Print)9789401796088
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameWetlands: ecology, conservation and management
Volume5

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