Water Sanitation Health

Healthy wetlands, healthy people

A review of wetlands and human health interactions


Horwitz P., Finlayson C. M., Weinstein P.

Publication details

Editors: Published jointly by the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention and the World Health Organization
Number of pages: 114
Publication date: February 2012
Languages: English
ISBN: ISBN 2-940073-32-5 (Ramsar Convention Secretariat 2012)



The report provides advice to wetland managers and decision-makers on the range of often complex issues concerning wetland conservation and human health and well-being. It approaches the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health in three interrelated ways: by recognizing the human needs that are met by water in its setting; by recognizing the health products that come from wetland ecosystems; and by recognizing the economic value of wetlands in a full sense to sustainably improve their socio-economic conditions. The report further aims to facilitate dialogue between wetlands managers and human health professionals in their distinct but often overlapping efforts.

Authored by Professors Pierre Horwitz, STRP Wetlands and Human Health lead member, Max Finlayson, STRP climate change lead member, and Philip Weinstein of the University of South Australia, significant inputs were received from Drs Robert Bos, World Health Organization (WHO) and Martin Birley, independent HIA expert, and a number of other invited experts, including IWMI's Dr Priyanie Amerasinghe, as contributing authors.