Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 165–171 | Cite as

Wetlands and human health: an overview

Original Paper

Abstract

This paper provides an introduction to the Wetlands and Human Health special issue and an overview of the papers. It identifies the disjunct that can exist between managing wetland health and human health. There is a need to resolve the potential conflict between managing wetlands for their values and managing them for positive human health outcomes. All authors have used the Ramsar definition of wetlands and the World Health Organization definition of human health. The papers (several are reviews) cover a range of wetlands and diseases from mosquito-borne to snail or pathogen vectors. Mosquito management is a common theme, illustrating, for the eastern USA, that wetland damage from the early to mid twentieth century can be ameliorated by careful restoration and, for Australia, that damage may be avoided. Constructed wetlands provide an opportunity to create ecosystem services and wetland value such that careful design and operation can minimise mosquito risks. Although the papers focus on negative health impacts of wetlands they deal with these to minimise health risks while restoring or maintaining wetland function or by exploring knowledge needs that would facilitate wise management.

Keywords

Disease Schistosomiasis Cholera West Nile virus Ross River virus Mosquito Constructed wetlands Management Salt marsh Mangrove 

References

  1. Abraham A, Sommerhalder K, Abel T (2010) Landscape and well-being: a scoping study on the health-promoting impact of outdoor environments. Int J Public Health 55(1):59–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barbier E (1992) Sustainable use of wetlands valuing tropical wetlands benefits: economic methodologies and applications. Geogr J 159(1):22–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boyer T, Polasky S (2004) Valuing urban wetlands: a review of non-market valuation studies. Wetlands 24(4):744–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bridgewater P (2008) Healthy wetlands, healthy people: how can we achieve this ideal? Proc Natl Acad Sci India B 78:13–20Google Scholar
  5. Dale PER, Knight JM (2008) Wetlands and mosquitoes: a review. Wetl Ecol Manag 16:255–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dale PER, Carlson DB, Easton C (2008) 4 degrees of latitude: mosquito control on the “right’” coasts of Florida and Australia. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 24:427–437PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Graczyk TK, Lucy FE, Tamang L, Mashinski Y, Broaders MA, Connolly M, Cheng HWA (2009) Propagation of human enteropathogens in constructed horizontal wetlands used for tertiary wastewater treatment. Appl Environ Microbiol 75:4531–4538PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Horwitz P, Finlayson CM (2011) Wetlands as settings for human health: incorporating ecosystem services and health impact assessment into water resource management. Bioscience 61:678–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hughes L, McMichael T (2011) The critical decade: climate change and health. Climate Commission Secretariat (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) Commonwealth Government, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  10. Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: wetlands and water synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  11. Ramachandra TV, Rajinikanth R, Ranjini VG (2005) Economic valuation of wetlands. J Environ Biol 26(2):439–447PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Ramsar Secretariat (2012) Classification system for wetland type http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-activities-cepa-classification-system/main/ramsar/1-63-69%5E21235_4000_0 Accessed 16 Feb 2012
  13. Sekomo CB, Nkuranga E, Rousseau DPL, Lens PNL (2011) Fate of heavy metals in an urban natural wetland: the Nyabugogo Swamp (Rwanda). Water Air Soil Poll 214(1–4):321–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Shapiro K, Conrad PA, Mazet JAK, Wallender WW, Miller WA, Largier JL (2010) Effect of estuarine wetland degradation on transport of Toxoplasma gondii surrogates from land to sea. Appl Environ Microb 76(20):6821–6828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Stevens P (2010) Embedment in the environment: a new paradigm for well-being? Perspect Public Health 130(6):265–269PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Thiere G, Milenkovski S, Lindgren P-E, Sahlen G, Berglund O, Weisner SEB (2009) Wetland creation in agricultural landscapes: biodiversity benefits on local and regional scales. Biol Conserv 142(2009):964–973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Whitehead JC, Rose AZ (2009) Estimating environmental benefits of natural hazard mitigation with data transfer: results from a benefit-cost analysis of Federal Emergency Management Agency hazard mitigation grants. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 14:655–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. WHO 2012 health definition at: https://apps.who.int/aboutwho/en/definition.html Accessed Jan 5th 2012

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Futures Centre, Griffith School of EnvironmentGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of FloridaVero BeachUSA

Personalised recommendations